Speech by the President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta at the meeting of the National Council For European Integration

Speech by the President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta at the meeting of the National Council For European Integration

Honorable Mrs. Hajdari,
Honorable Mr. Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Prime Minister,
Honorable Ambassador Soreca, Excellency Ambassadors,
Distinguished members of the National Council for European Integration,

In this first meeting held by the National Council of European Integration after the decision of the European Council of March 25, I convey the maximum assessments to the European Commission and EU member states, for their tireless efforts in favor of the long-awaited political decision for the accession of the membership negotiations with Albania.

The European Commission and the member states deserve our deepest gratitude because, although in an unprecedented situation created due to pandemic, they maintained their commitment and support for Albania, as they had promised.

We will have to read the decision of March 25 and the conclusions of the Zagreb Virtual Summit with the necessary clarity and maturity, and I believe that this meeting also serves this purpose.

Moving forward on the European path requires, first and foremost, European behavior, where dialogue, comprehensive cooperation, and building bridges of trust between institutions and citizens should prevail.

This conviction has guided me throughout my activity as President of the Republic, with calls and initiatives for accountability, cooperation, and focus on the European integration agenda, as a priority of all priorities.

The real implementation of the growing conditions, and the obligations of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, must be taken more seriously.

Only a credible process, where political will is put at the service of the country and major interests, will be able to prevent successive toxic crises that have unfortunately undermined the trust of citizens and damaged the image of Albania.

We all have been warned by the new methodology of the European Union, which emphasizes that where progress is not real there will be punishment, up to the reversing of the integration process and of the achievements so far.

This would be fatal for us, and I am convinced that there is no need for it to happen, while we must not forget that 20 years ago when we were involved in the Stabilization and Association process we were on the same lane with Croatia, today an EU member state, and much ahead of Montenegro.

Therefore, I believe that we are still on time to reflect, starting with the renunciation of the imposed politics, which undermines dialogue, cooperation and trust between the parties.

Dialogue means not only talking but also listening. Collaboration does not mean only taking but also offering.

In this context, I would like to note that the agreement reached at the Political Council on Electoral Reform was an important step forward. I appreciate the constructive contribution that Commissioner Varhelyi, the German Bundestag, the European partners in our country, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom have given in this process.

I urge for this agreement to continue for all the necessary changes of the electoral reform and will be finalized with the quick approval in Parliament.

Undoubtedly the real challenge will be the faithful implementation of the new Electoral Code, and the behavior of each actor to ensure an electoral process with integrity that protects and respects the free vote of the citizens.

I also encourage that in the action plan drafted by the government must be reflected the contributions of all members of the Council, all the conditions be analyzed one by one, and the responsible actors be pointed out clearly, the concrete and measurable terms of action and the financial costs for each voice.

The consolidation and further implementation of this action plan must prove that Albania gives results!

We have given our preliminary assessments, but the final assessments of the Institution of the President of the Republic for this Action Plan drafted by the government will be available to you very soon after this meeting.

On my behalf, as President of the Republic, I will continue my unremitting efforts for the benefit of a sustainable and credible progress of Albania’s European integration process, as a nationwide goal of all Albanian citizens.

Thank you.