Published on: 11 October 2017

Remarks by Minister Bushati at the Annual Conference of the Foreign Ministers of V4 and Western Balkans


11 October 2017

First of all I would like to thank Peter for being here with us and for the very warm environment he has created for the discussion on all issues related to the progress of the six Western Balkan countries towards integration into the European Union. Thank you also for the regional climate created and for a better cooperation and interaction between us, the Visegrad countries and other countries present here today. I would also like to express my gratitude to them for the support they give to Albania and all our countries in the region in the framework of the European integration process.

Secondly, I would like to underline that in the last 2-3 years, during which Europe has faced several crises that have affected the security architecture built with efforts for decades, the Western Balkans clearly proved itself to be a contributor rather than a consumer of security. I believe that time is ripe to leave behind the stabilization and contribution to security stage, and move towards development policies that ease the existing gap among the Western Balkan countries and the rest of the European Union. We can make it happen not simply talking about enlargement but by firmly focusing on the process of consolidating the European project.

I believe that it is very important that the countries that think alike and which make up the majority of the European Union member states, work with us and with the European Commission for a process that needs to be guided by quality, credibility or reliability. I also think that we need to cooperate and better schedule this process so that no vacuum be created in the Western Balkans, thus preventing any unforeseen situation.

As regards Albania, I agree with the joint statement of the Visegrad countries to open the accession negotiations as soon as possible. I would also like to emphasize our full commitment to the implementation of the justice reform, which is a very ambitious reform, as well as our commitment to intensify the regional co-operation. Furthermore, we will take steps to improve the reforms of rule of law in economy, which are crucial not only in terms of European integration, but also for country’s development.

Gësenem (Thank you).

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