Published on : 25 May 2017

Any attempt to pave the way towards the EU

Interview given to the media by Prime Minister Edi Rama after the informal dinner with the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy and Security, Federica Mogherini:

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama: It was an informal dinner held to discuss on the future meeting in Trieste, as well as on the perspective of the Western Balkan countries. Of course, we discussed also openly certain issues of mutual interest that should be seen as such.

 

Before the informal dinner, you held a bilateral meeting with senior representative. Did you have the opportunity to discuss internal issues, especially after the political agreement you have reached? What can Albania seek now in the negotiation process with the EU?

Prime Minister Edi Rama: No, we did not discuss internal issues. I just told the chief of the European diplomacy that after June 25, she and the European Commission should be prepared because the government and opposition coming out of these elections will ask unanimously for the opening of EU membership negotiations.

 

You have shown the same optimism in the Albanian Parliament, in a reply to Mr Blushi. Do you think you have the support of Ms Mogherini and of Brussels’ in general in order to open membership negotiations?

Prime Minister Edi Rama: I don’t remember the reply you mentioned, but what I can tell you is that we are determined to make every attempt in order to sit as soon as possible at the table of negotiations. The obstacle to this table has been the vetting. The beginning of its implementation, which I hope will not face unexpected problems, will be for us a very strong reason so that the government and the opposition together, or the majority and the minority coming out of the elections of June 25, will seek the opening of negotiations. We will do this vehemently, in the sense of a unified voice, and then of course it’s not all up to us because Europe is what it is in these moments, and it is not the best we would want it to be.

 

What are the problems that hinder the development of relations among Balkan countries?

Prime Minister Rama: I don’t believe there is a problem at the level of relations because, despite the pending issued that some countries might have, there is dialogue, communication, interaction and a common sense of the future that prevail over the rest. This is something that we could see and confirm constantly. Then, of course, our will is not enough. Europe must be also willing, and we hope to find this will after the elections of June 25 and after the elections in Germany.

 

Was there something concrete offered to everybody today, or just vain words?

Prime Minister Edi Rama: You know that words are never in vain, and you know also that the Holy Books start with the word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”, so there’s nowhere we can go without the word. What I’m telling you with conviction is that we are eager and determined to push this process forward by doing our homework because in the very end, what we all need to understand is that we don’t look at the European integration as a tourist trip to go somewhere. We look at it as a process to make a European Albania with a state, with employment and with welfare, a country worth sitting at the table of the united European family. Of course just what we do is not enough because, on the other hand, we must find the same will and the same readiness in the united Europe. We hope very much that after the elections in Germany things will be much clearer, and Albania will open negotiations at the end of this year thanks to the agreement we have reached in Albania, thanks to elections that it is unlikely they will be contested like they have been in the past, thanks to the commitment that the government and the opposition, regardless of who is in the government and who is in opposition, will clearly share the agenda of internal debate, of internal disagreements, and if you want also of internal conflicts at certain moments, with the national agenda of European integration.

 

Regarding the elections, what guarantees are there that they will comply with the standards? This is one of the requests of Brussels.

Prime Minister Edi Rama: It is no longer me who has to guarantee the elections. Now, all of us together must do our best to make sure that these elections will be truly a dividing line between the past and the future. What I have done and am very proud of, what the Socialist Party has done as a leading force in the government, is that by giving the opposition the opportunity to have its eyes within the government and to see from within the relationship between imagination and truth, our nation and our people are given the opportunity to finally break away from the ugly history of justly or unjustly contested elections, regardless of the real will of the people.

Write to the PM

Your Message

Write to the PM

Exclusive documentaries

Documentaries

Exclusive documentaries

For journalists

Mediaroom

For journalists

Public report

100 Days

Public report