REGIONAL POLICY OF ALBANIA
Albania has acquired a new status and role in international relations, a logical consequence of the growing partnership with all structures of regional and global security after the NATO membership in April 2009. Currently, Albania is in an important process with the European Union, after the entry into force on 1 April 2009 of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the liberalization of visa application for the candidate country status.
Albania is a strategic country for security, peace and prosperity for the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Europe. Our foreign policy is determined to increase its role and contribution, as a factor with regional impact for increasing security and guaranteeing political stability and regional economic growth.
Albania’s foreign policy is oriented to be fully engaged in strengthening the good neighborly relations and regional integration. Albania is and will remain a reliable partner and an important regional factor that contributes in preserving and strengthening political and economic stability in the region and beyond.
Albania plays an active, moderate and constructive role in the process of regional cooperation, supporting and promoting the principle of all-inclusiveness, as one of the basic principles of the regional cooperation process.
We encourage Albanians wherever they live in the region, to become promoters of the European and Euro-Atlantic integration and democratic processes in the countries where they live.
For Albania, regional cooperation goes beyond the political will of good neighborliness. It acquires meaning through efforts for creating a common regional infrastructure, removing all non-physical barriers for the free movement of people, goods and capital, increasing exchanges, knowing each other better and jointly committing to change the image of the region, to turn it into an attractive and competitive market.
Strengthening the regional infrastructure network with axes to the main lines of movement and exchanges, as well as their connection to European and Euro-Asian infrastructure networks, will affect the positive processes in the region, by making it safer, by increasing its geo-economic dimension, by considerably expanding the market and by boosting the interest for foreign investments.
A Balkan region, which is economically interdependent and interconnected with neighboring countries and regions with mutual and historical interests, such as Italy, Greece, Turkey with which we have natural, traditional and strategic relations, traditional powers and new members of the European Union, together with the current centers of global economic development, would give it a new dynamic of development and prosperity which is necessary for its European integration, but also for ensuring regional and inter-regional markets for the European Union.
Strengthening the security dimension in the region, according to the traditional and modern concept, by ensuring peace and stability, democratization of our societies, the joint fight against organized crime and trafficking, circulation control and confiscation of these organizations’ money, strengthening up until meeting the highest standards of security and integrated management of borders can be implemented quicker, through a more coordinated regional cooperation of law enforcement agencies, along with the assistance of the European Union itself.
Security in the energy sector through the construction and modernization of regional interconnection networks, ensuring oil and gas networks from East to West through Balkan Routes, will increase the specific role of the region as an important actor for the future of the EU itself and ensure its safety from the dependence on energy, but above all, in terms of security, peace and welfare of its own people.
The geographical position of the region, whose strategic interests as a major linking bridge between East and West, would be reinforced by a new dynamic that would make its integration quicker, essential for Europe itself, while the prospect of the Balkans as a new center of economic and employment development would also facilitate the EU from a challenge which is both political and economic.
In recent years, the Balkan geopolitics has been enriched with new realities. The new state of Kosovo proved that its independence was the right decision, which ensures long-term peace and stability in the region. The recognition of Kosovo by 111 countries is an irreversible reality.
Albania has welcomed and supported the high-level dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia facilitated by the European Union, as two independent and sovereign states, as well as all the agreements / conclusions reached. The historic agreement of April 19, 2013 aims at normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia, thus, paving the way for a new era between them, with positive impact in the region. We expect that this agreement, together with that of regional representation of Kosovo, will give a new impetus to the new recognitions of Kosovo, its membership in regional forums and EU integration. We welcome Kosovo’s steps towards the European Union as well as its commitment to the fulfillment of conditions with regard to the visa liberalization process.
Albania has expressed its appreciation for the adoption of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) by the European Commission (30 April 2015). We believe that after the adoption of the signing by the Council, the European Parliament will sign it within this year, in order for the SAA to enter into force in early 2016. This will serve as an incentive for the implementation and institutionalization of reforms and as an opportunity for Pristina to strengthen relations with its neighbors and contribute to regional stability.