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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Bujar Nishani, President of Albania

Press point/Brussels

17 September 2012

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to welcome President Nishani to the European Commission today.

I had the opportunity to congratulate the President on his recent election and to commend his decision to visit Brussels so soon after taking office.

I see this visit as a clear sign of the President's strong commitment to Albania's European future.

We just had a very open and fruitful meeting where we took stock of the latest developments in key reform areas and discussed the next steps in Albania's European integration path.

We, at the European Commission, are deeply committed to Albania’s European perspective. And I am confident that Albania, its leaders and its people will show the determination and capacity to move to the next stage.

Albania is making progress. The joint efforts between government and opposition to advance on a European reform agenda delivered results. I am sure they will build on this momentum. I urge all political actors in the country to maintain a strong and constructive consensus around Albania's European future. This is the gateway for success!

The adoption of the revised electoral code and the achievements in addressing the 12 key priorities of the 2010 Opinion of the Commission (in areas such as rule of law, public administration reform and fundamental rights) are concrete steps in the right direction.

On the basis of the progress achieved so far, Albania can and must now do more. No efforts and determination should be spared to address remaining issues pertaining to institutional reforms, the fight against corruption and organised crime and the respect for the rule of law, including an independent and efficient judiciary.

In this respect, President Nishani's strong commitment to the reform of the judiciary is most welcome and today we have discussed this issue in particular.

So, let me be very clear: Albania's perspective for progress in 2012 is real and the candidate country status is within reach.

It is now in your own hands to do, with our support, what is necessary to move Albania forward on its European integration path.

From the part of the European Commission, Mr President, you can count with a steadfast partner and friend in realising that common goal.

I thank you for your attention.

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