IBNA Op-Ed/No “reduced price ticked” to the EU

IBNA Op-Ed/No “reduced price ticked” to the EU

A strategic reengagement from the EU would be the only impulse toward democratizing processes and the guarantee for a safe political and economic perspective of the Balkan region. Otherwise, there may be a void which can only be filled by third parties, who through political and economic incentives, may  kill the interest and determination of the countries of the region for the European project. This doesn’t mean that we demand a “reduced price ticked” to the EU. On the contrary, we demand a credible and predictable process

By Ditmir Bushati

Albania’s Foreign Minister

The European Parliament has been an active supporter of the efforts of West Balkan countries toward regional and European integrating processes.

Thanks to this support, the West Balkan has known important and positive developments. However, sustainable security and democratic stability in the region must not be taken for granted, because the Balkan region is still a space within Europe where there are disagreements and frozen democratic processes, for as long as pending bilateral issues and deficits in building a democratic state have the potential to threaten the future of our citizens.

A strategic reengagement from the EU would be the only impulse toward democratizing processes and the guarantee for a safe political and economic perspective of the Balkan region. Otherwise, there may be a void which can only be filled by third parties, who through political and economic incentives, may  kill the interest and determination of the countries of the region for the European project. This doesn’t mean that we demand a “reduced price ticked” to the EU. On the contrary, we demand a credible and predictable process

“Berlin Process”

The “Berlin Process” is the best opportunity to renew the accession process, maintaining this process an instrument that transforms the region into a vital, prosperous and democratic region.

Holding the chairmanship in office of the South Eastern Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP), Albania has aimed a more concrete regional cooperation expanding in all domains, enabling growth, competition, sustainability and economic consolidation.

Albania’s reforms

As far as the progress of reforms in Albania is concerned, our focus remains on key priorities.

Concrete results and the engagement to preserve a positive momentum and the energy generated after the country became an EU candidate member, encourage us to take the next step.

The start of accession talks is our next objective and an important challenge that will bring a bigger focus within the country for more engagement in the “true work site” of the process of integration.

We have manifested our will to discuss with the European Commission for a time framework and a plan of all actions that will lead us to a recommendation of accession talks.

For us, negotiations are more than an instrument. They are not only a stage of the process, but the process itself that guarantees the progress of transforming reforms.

Serbia’s precedent must be repeated

We’re careful in order not to create illusive expectations, because we have also seen the experience of the other countries of the region and we’re clear that the issuing of recommendation doesn’t automatically imply the start of accession talks.

The precedents used with Montenegro or Serbia with interim steps may be also used in our case. What’s more, we’re also addressing the content of chapters 23 and 24 of the acquis through key priorities, something which these countries are addressing through the negotiation process.

The process of the start of negotiations would also help for a capillary distribution of responsibility in order to perform in the domains where negotiation is focused.

In this context, the next meeting of the High Level Dialogue EU-Albania which will be held in Tirana on March 24, must be used as a work meeting to determine the steps that will lead us toward this recommendation. /ibna/