Tirana, 17 September 2019 (MIA) – European Council President Donald Tusk sent Tuesday a clear message from Tirana that the European Union should open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
Tusk said the decision is not about doing favors to anyone, but a necessity for the peace and stability in Europe.
“I have always thought that the EU should open accession talks with both Albania and North Macedonia, in line with the positive recommendations from the Commission. I have not changed my mind. Your country must be treated with equal respect and on its own merits, just like all other countries in the region that share your goal of becoming EU members one day. But equally important is that Albania’s and the region’s accession to the EU is in the best interest of the whole of Europe. Because there will be no stable and safe Europe without the integration of all the Balkans in the EU. What is at stake is our common future. And no one is doing anyone any favours here,” Tusk told a joint press conference with Albanian PM Edi Rama.
Tusk and Rama also discussed the importance of Albania maintaining a solid track record as regards the rule of law and the fight against corruption and organised crime.
“The EU’s obsession with the rule of law – and I would add with ‘reconciliation’ and good neighbourly relations – is part of our DNA and will not go away when you become members. Otherwise, the European project would stand on shaky grounds,” said Tusk.
Rama presented Tusk with the Benemerenti medal. for his support to Albania’s European integration process.
“I am very proud to receive this distinction, but the greatest award for me would be the opening of accession negotiations with Albania,” added Tusk.