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Brussels, 11 November 2013
EU-Albania: preparing to launch High Level Dialogue
Today Commissioner started his visit in Tirana by meeting President Bujar Nishani, Speaker of the Parliament Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama. This is what he said after the meeting with the Prime Minister:
I am glad to be here, for the third time this year and for the first time after the new government took office. We had good discussion with Prime Minister Edi Rama.
We have touched upon a number of issues – including, of course, the candidate status, which the Commission recommended last month. Our talks now, but also my other meetings here today and tomorrow, are an opportunity to discuss what is expected from Albania in the context of its integration process.
Apart from its positive recommendation regarding the candidate status, the European Commission has also highlighted 5 key priorities still to be met for the opening of accession negotiations. Albania will need to continue to show its resolve to tackle challenges in these 5 areas, notably in the fight against corruption and organised crime: continue reforms, implement them, turn intentions into results.
Among number of things I have stressed the need for a constructive political dialogue between government and opposition which I believe is essential to re-invigorate the reform process.
With our intention to help and assist we will launch the High Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities tomorrow. This Dialogue should help Albania maintain focus on the necessary reforms and on political consensus needed for a successful outcome.
I am looking forward to continue our debate tonight with students and tomorrow launching the High Level Dialogue which hopefully will bring Albania closer to the EU but which also helps the opposition and other stakeholders to stand behind the EU agenda.'