Brussels, 25 February 2013
EU-Albania: Elections will be crucial test of democracy
Brussels (25th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met Chairman of the Socialist Movement for Integration Ilir META in Brussels today to exchange views on the follow-up to the Council Conclusions from December and on the latest developments of the political situation in Albania.
The Commissioner said that Albania has no time to spare in its EU-related agenda: "The current campaign period is no excuse for slowing work on EU-oriented reforms, and government and opposition alike need to assume their responsibility in bringing Albania closer to the EU."
Commissioner Füle reiterated the importance of successful preparation and conduct of the parliamentary elections on the 23rd June as a crucial test for the functioning of Albania's democratic institutions. "It is essential that political leaders play their part in ensuring the elections are in line with international standards, to improve the credibility and standing of the democratic institutions and strengthen the accountability of politicians towards the Albanian people," he said adding that the European Commission is ready to assist in this process as much as possible and intensify its engagement if the political parties create the necessary conditions for that. "When it comes to elections it is important to ensure highest possible participation of voters and coming back to the business of the European agenda very soon after the elections," Commissioner Füle stressed.