Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met with his Albanian counterpart Gent Cakaj in Berlin on Thursday. Their talks focused on the country’s efforts to join the European Union and on its domestic political situation.
European Commission confirms Progress
Albania has implemented numerous reforms in recent years. Particularly in the justice sector, the country has achieved progress. For example, it has significantly stepped up efforts in its fight against corruption and organised crime. These positive developments have also been confirmed by the most recent report of the European Commission.
“It’s time to open accession negotiations”
The Federal Foreign Office therefore has a clear position: “We think that it’s time to open accession negotiations,” said Foreign Minister Maas. Albania has been an official candidate for accession to the European Union since 2014. It is in Germany’s interest for Albania to continue down the path of accession. “If we were to turn our backs on the Western Balkans, other powers would fill that void,” Maas emphasised at the press conference with his Albanian counterpart.
The opening of accession negotiations requires a unanimous vote on the part of all EU member states. Before the German Government can vote in favour of negotiations, the Bundestag must deliberate the issue.