Von der Leyen sees further West Balkan inclusion in EU

Von der Leyen sees further West Balkan inclusion in EU

Visiting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Tirana on Tuesday that Albania’s future is in the European Union and that the first intergovernmental conference between the two sides should be held before the end of this year.

At a joint press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, von der Leyen praised Albania’s “successful” progress in its EU integration process and commended the country for having “clearly delivered what the EU has asked for,” adding that now “it’s the EU’s turn to deliver.”

Von der Leyen emphasized that both Albania and North Macedonia deserve to be in the EU.

She said that the EU “will continue to stand by Albania and the Western Balkans” in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and for economic recovery. Later on Tuesday, von der Leyen arrived in Skopje, capital of North Macedonia.

“We are working hard with both sides and with Bulgaria in order to overcome this last hurdle,” she told a joint press conference with Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev.

“There are really good ideas that are worth going in-depth that we overcome this last obstacle to start the first intergovernmental conference. Our goal is to start it with North Macedonia and Albania before the end of the year,” she said. [Xinhua]


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