Check against delivery !
Edi, Mr Prime Minister, first of all, it has been really a pleasure for me to welcome you and all the delegation here in Brussels for what I found an excellent meeting we had today. It was not coming as a surprise, because we worked so much and so well together in these last months in particular. It was very important to have this common exercise of assessing where we are today.
First of all, we have commonly underlined that we both remain committed to Albania’s EU integration process. On the European Union’s side, this is a commitment that also translates into the determination to accompany and support this process and it is very clear to us, the European Union, that Albania remains firmly committed to its EU reforms agenda.
We have welcomed and commended the adoption last July of the constitutional amendments on the justice reform. One of the most important, if not the most important reform, carried out in the enlargement countries. This reform is a milestone on Albania’s EU path. I had the chance of saying at your Parliament a few months ago and obviously for me those words stay in my memory and also in the practice of our daily work.
We are convinced that this reform will be transformative for other areas too. It will contribute to creating a more predictable and transparent environment for business and investors. In this way, it will help us increase our economic relations that are already very intense, very good but, we believe, have still a potential that can be exploited.
It is for this reason that for the European Union it is so important that this priority, these reforms, started and also why we see that these reforms enjoy high level of popular support in the country. I believe Albanians see very well that it is in their interest and the interest of the country to move forward.
We believe that political parties have now the responsibility to ensure a swift implementation of the justice reform they, themselves, adopted by unanimity in Parliament, by approving now the relevant implementing legislations and by launching the procedures for the vetting process. And we are willing and ready to support Albania in the implementation phase.
Today, we also had the opportunity to discuss important steps forward on others issues, in particular other issues related to rule of law, starting from the fight against organised crime and corruption. And all these positive developments that we recognised, welcomed and commended will be reflected in the work ahead of us in the coming months, in particular in view of the upcoming progress report – not only these positive developments that have already taken place, but also the determination we have seen today to continue on the implementation of them.
Let me also say, two last points that are equally important for us. First of all that Albania is continuing to play a very important, constructive, regional role, promoting cooperation in the Western Balkans. This is something we appreciate a lot and that we encourage a lot and we discussed also the regional situation. I commended the full alignment of Albania on all foreign and security policy issues which is something that all EU Member States appreciate enormously.
We have good outcomes on our talks on the EU integration process, we have also good work that is ongoing on the foreign policy files, on the regional files. This is why I started by saying that today we had a really excellent meeting and Edi, and all your delegation, I would like to thank you very much for that.
Link to the video: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I125800
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