2018 is a decisive year for all Balkan countries, Albanian Foreign Minister says

2018 is a decisive year for all Balkan countries, Albanian Foreign Minister says

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs hosted the Regional Meeting on Territorial Cooperation Programs, in which Albania adheres, focusing on the efficient coordination of European Union funding instruments.

In his speech at this meeting, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati said that this year is a decisive year not only for Albania’s progress towards European Union membership, but for all countries in the region Balkans.

“The presentation of the Enlargement Strategy next month puts a political perspective and a concrete perspective on the enlargement policy. We expect from this Strategy, concrete proposals for the next steps on the progress of the accession process for the countries of the region, including Albania, in a short and long term perspective,” said the Minister, expressing the conviction that the continuation of the implementation of judicial reform, will enable Albania to join the two neighboring countries that have already started accession negotiations with the European Union, Montenegro and Serbia.

To significantly increase the impact of cross-border and transnational programs on local and regional development, Minister Bushati highlighted three areas of cooperation: greater focus on the impact of programs funded by EU assistance, better orientation and coordination within the framework of co-operation cross-border, as well as transparency and communication.

In her speech, the European Union ambassador in Tirana, Romana Vlahutin, considered cross-border and transnational programs as important. According to her, they not only increase the quality of life in the countries of the region, but build trust among people, enable exchange of knowledge, cultural values ​​and traditions among them.

Erion Veliaj the mayor of Tirana, who was attending the meeting, said cross-border programs and EU financial assistance in general are a key instrument of fulfilling our vocation towards the EU.

Today’s activity was also attended by Suhejl Fazliu, Minister of Local Self-Government of the Republic of Macedonia, various personalities, domestic and foreign, representatives from line ministries, representatives from municipalities, regional agencies, non-profit organizations, etc.