Neither the results of Edi Rama's justice reform nor the personal friendship of Edi Rama with President Emanuel Macron seem to be enough for Albania to persuade skeptical EU countries to open negotiations.
At a meeting of justice ministers of the region, Prime Minister Rama did not hide the disappointment of the union's behavior towards our country, despite being in front of European diplomats.
“There is a corridor that divides us between the Western Balkans and the European Union.
“We play and you see us playing. Shake hands with us and then finally say: Good guys, but not ready yet. But we have no other choice.
“We have no alternative. We need to continue to love and trust this marriage of ours.
“It's been about two weeks so maybe we have the next slap and we have to shake hands and have a drink together. We will exchange rings, but not to get married, remaining only engaged,” was the prose of Prime Minister Rama.
For the head of the EU delegation in Tirana, Luigi Soreca, Albania is ready to open negotiations, but urged caution with justice reform as he said history is not yet over.
“Expectations are high to see the Constitutional Court and the High Court functional again. Albanian citizens are eagerly waiting for SPAK and the NBI to be established and, most importantly, they are waiting for the first results of the work of these institutions.
“The collective duty now is to avoid slowing down in the middle of the journey. There is much work ahead and continued cooperation is necessary for it to succeed.
“The European Union will continue to be by your side. For the next there years, the EU will make more financial resources available, with 42 million euro dedicated to the new justice program,” said Soreca.
The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Malinda Bregu warned the Albanian government that the European Union’s stalemate on justice is expected to rise.
Germany, in exchange for the ‘Yes’ to open negotiations, urges Albania to make the Constitutional Court and High Courts operational and to approve electoral reform before the EU's intergovernmental conference early next year.
Meanwhile, the Parliament of the Netherlands will determine their stance on Albania's accession on October 8th.