Albania Warned it Risks Missing EU ‘Train’

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, May 18, 2014
Posted in category Albania, Balkans
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MEPs from the joint EU-Albania Stabilization and Association Committee warned Tirana on Friday to speed up reforms or risk missing out on the integration process.

‘Albania could miss the train heading toward the EU,’ Slovak MEP Eduard Kukan said in a meeting in Tirana with Albania opposition and government MPs.

‘Today’s meeting is an attempt by the European Parliament to help your country,’ Kukan added.

Albania first applied for EU candidacy status in April 2009, but its bid was turned down for the second time in October owing to a crippling political crisis, which has brought reforms to a standstill.

The European Commission said not enough progress had been made in political
dialogue or in the fight against organized crime and corruption.

Apart from Kukan, the meeting of the stabilization and association committee was also attended by Romanian MEP Victor Bostinaru and Slovenia’s Tanja Fajon.

Bostinaru underlined that Albania’s credibility in Brussels had been tarnished after the January riots when police shot dead four unarmed protestors while repelling what the government claimed was a coup d’état.  

‘The trust in the country and its institutions is destroyed when the president and the general prosecutor are accused of [attempting] a coup,’ Bostinaru said, referring to government claims that the head of state as well as the prosecutor general were involved in a conspiracy to topple the government.

At the end of the meeting the committee approved a joint-resolution in which both Albania’s ruling coalition and the opposition pledged to work together in the EU integration process.

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