Albania on the Road towards European Integration

Tirana, December 2006

On 06 December 2006, AGENDA Institute and MJAFT Foundation jointly organized the lecture on “Albania on the road towards European Integration”, in the framework of EU Lecture Series.

The guest speaker was Mrs. Maria Asenius, Deputy Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Enlargement of EU. The participants were representatives from government, civil society, media, diplomatic corps and students of political science and international relations.

Mrs. Asenius started by presenting Albania 2006 Progress Report and the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges for 2006-2007 of the EC launched on 8 November 2006. Mrs. Asenius primarily focused on the politically and economic welcomed results made by Albania such as SAA signature, adoption of a plan to implement European Partnership and SAA obligations, determined measures to fight corruption, and macroeconomic stability and economic growth etc. At the same time she focused on the encourages of the report such as ensuring wider reform consensus, efforts to tackle the fundamental causes of corruption, improvements of the legal framework, and acceleration of economic growth, improvement of business climate etc. 

Mrs. Asenius also focused on the main discussed issues of Enlargement Strategy Paper for 2006-2007, including absorption and integration capacity of EU which is based on consolidation, conditionality and communication by expressing that “Now we have to get our own house in order and ensure the EU’s own capacity to function and to deepen the European Integration.”

Other important issues raised Mrs. Asenius were about visa facilitation debate stressing the lunching of visa facilitation by VP Frattini applied to short-stay visas for trusted citizens of the Western Balkans countries. She also mentioned in brief regional cooperation not only via Justice and Home Affairs but also via CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement), stressing the progress done.

During her two-day stay in Tirana Mrs. Asenius met with the Head of Political Section, Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Albania, Mrs. Paula Thiede; Minister of European Integration, H. E. Mrs. Arenca Trashani; Minister of Justice, H.E. Mr. Aldo Bumçi; Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Mr. Besnik Mustafaj; and Tirana Mayor and Chairman of Socialist Party, Mr. Edi Rama.

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