9 May 2019 The remarks of the President of Albania, H. E. Ilir Meta at the Leaders’ Meeting of the Brdo-Brijuni Process in Tirana
Dear President Duda,
In my remarks today I want to focus on three major issues:
First on the integration process of our countries.
“World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it…. Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”.
This was the prologue of Schuman declaration, championing novel and genuine political cooperation to make war in Europe impossible. This was the farsighted vision that established European peace, unity and prosperity.
We must recognize that today’s European Union has grown beyond Schuman’s imagination. It has enlarged, deepened and strengthened with courage, determination and without fatigue.
In that context I want to underline two relevant and key messages:
First, our countries have still a lot to learn from the founders and philosophy behind this historic project, on what can be considered innovative ideas pioneering a new era of coexistence in our region.
Second, the eagerness of our countries to join the European Union is a clear indicator that the European political, economic and social construction remains as strategically important to us, as ever.
In that framework, I remain hopeful that both, my country and the Republic of North Macedonia will open accession negotiations with the European Union as soon as possible, and that Kosova gets visa liberalization without further delay.
Second issue – regional cooperation.
Albania will continue to play its indispensable role as a factor of peace, stability and security in the region. We will continue to live up to our added responsibilities as a NATO member for a peaceful and secure neighborhood, including our determination to stand by the strategic allies in the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
Old and obstinate bilateral disputes can be resolved with forward looking solutions and good neighborly relations can further enhance in our region, when channeled in the right European and Euro-Atlantic perspective. In that respect, the relevance and importance of Prespa Agreement is such that deserves our distinct recognition as a great achievement.
NATO’s accession invitation to the Republic of North Macedonia was the right decision at the right time. In its 70th anniversary NATO must be proud to have its 30th member soon onboard, further expanding its peace and security perimeter.
We must also acknowledge that the EU and its member states have placed our region high on their agenda, following complementary policies to enlargement.
The Berlin process that aims to connect and reconcilee the region, will continue, and it would be organized and held this year in Poland. I highly appreciate that the Poznan Summit will bestow the necessary attention to education and youth issues by aiming to avoid the regional frustrating obstacles.
It is also very telling that both Germany and France, founders of the European Union, paid special attention to our region amidst political campaign for European elections. We wish that the Paris Summit will provide new and constructive dynamics to this process.
Albania will support the efforts of Kosova’s institutions to reengage in the EU-facilitated dialogue with Serbia. Such constructive process should produce a final, legally binding, comprehensive and implementable agreement to fully normalize relations between the two countries, and contribute to regional peace, stability and European perspective.
Similar to the example of Prespa Agreement, remain vital and indispensable both the responsible and serious between the two countries, Kosova and Serbia, and also a better coordination between European Union and United States of America about the perspective of dialogue and region.
As a last remark, I want to underline that as EU aspiring countries we have committed to upholding the principles and values of liberal democracy.
Focus on good-governance and the rule of law, building functional democratic institutions, market economies, protecting human rights and political freedoms of our peoples, are central pillars of sustainable reforms.
All of us have a crucial stake in building such a future for our citizens, counting on the support of our European friends, including their pledge to deliver upon credible and tangible results.