Published on: 05 December 2017

Minister Bushati attends the conference “High expectations for 2018. Albania's next step in the EU accession process”

During his visit to Brussels on 4 December 2017, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati participated at the conference “High expectations for 2018. Albania's next step in the European Integration Process”. The conference was organized by the German Foundation Hanns Seidel.

Christian Danielsson, Director-General for Enlargement at the European Commission, MEP Eduard Kukan and other representatives of EU institutions, member countries, civil society etc., attended the conference, as well.

Minister Bushati, gave a detailed presentation of the steps the government has taken in the framework of commitments to meet key priorities. He paid special attention to the progress of the implementation of the justice system reform and the uncompromising fight against organized crime. Based on the work done and the progress achieved, Albanian government and society, expect 2018 to be a decisive year for the European process of Albania.

Discussing the importance that the opening of accession talks has for Albania, Bushati underlined that the government is willing to engage in this transformative effort for the country and society. "Our achievements, make up already a solid basis for substantial and qualitative progress in the integration process in various  priority areas, in particular for chapters 23 and 24”,- Bushati said. He underscored that Albania feels encouraged by the strong support given to Western Balkan enlargement, recently expressed by the President of the European Commission and also by French President Macron. "We hope that this support will materialize in laying the next steps on our European journey in line with our achievements and merits. We will make efforts to bring our irreversible relationship with the European Union institutions and its member states, to the level that imposes the multiplied dynamics of our cooperation and interaction".

Mr. Christian Danielson, Director-General for Enlargement at the European Commission, congratulated the Albanian government on the progress of reforms, in particular in justice and stressed the importance of maintaining the current growth. "The dynamics of developments in Albania," he stressed, "is creating a growing confidence in the European Union that it is time to move further in the European integration process." He highlighted that in February 2018, the Commission will present the Enlargement Strategy. Furthermore, it will deliver in April, a report on Albania, where the Commission's proposals will be presented based on the analysis of the results achieved in meeting the five key priorities.

Rapporteur for Albania, MEP Eduard Kukan, pointed out that he was witness to the changes that have taken place in Albania. According to him, these changes have encouraged the two major political groups in the European Parliament, to invite Albania as soon as possible to the negotiation table.

Minister Bushati and other panelists respond to different questions of the audience.

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