Rama meets Scholz in Berlin amid EU membership issues. – EURACTIV.com

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed his support for enlargement during a press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Berlin.

On Sunday, Rama landed in Berlin, where he took part in an official welcoming ceremony. He met on Monday with the Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Scholz.

“The Western Balkans are part of the European family,” Scholz said, adding that “the Western Balkans and their EU membership are very important to me.”

A number of topics were on the agenda between the two leaders, including Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the integration of Albania, regional cooperation and bilateral relations between Albania and the ‘Germany.

Since Russia waged war on Ukraine, it has painfully demonstrated that the European achievements of the past decades cannot be taken for granted, Scholz said.

“Every day we have to work again to live in an open space of freedom, democracy, rule of law and prosperity,” said Scholz, adding that it was necessary to start the process of joining the EU. EU for Albania and North Macedonia as soon as possible. .

Albania’s bid to join the bloc has been linked to its neighbor North Macedonia. While both countries met the demands on paper, Bulgaria vetoed the latter on historical and human rights issues.

“Albania can no longer wait for the two neighbors to resolve their dispute. Our course in this direction will completely change,” Rama said Thursday in Tirana.

Meanwhile, the feeling in Brussels is that enlargement is dead and that Albania only got a unanimous vote to continue with membership because it knew the Bulgarian veto against North Macedonia would halt any progress. .

However, other sources say that following Ukraine’s EU bid, Albania and North Macedonia will get the green light in June. An opinion on Ukraine’s accession, including whether the process can be accelerated, is expected in the same month.

Sources say a positive assessment for Ukraine could not be sure

After Scholz met the Austrian Chancellor at the end of March, he said: “We must ensure that we strengthen and support neighboring regions. Any further delay will make the Western Balkans more vulnerable and open to third party influence.

The chairman of the EU enlargement committee in the German Bundestag, Greens politician Anton Hofreiter, told DW in an interview that he hopes the opening of negotiations will take place after the French presidential election. “I have the impression that the EU is also aware that the region and Europe will become more stable and stronger, with the accession of Albania and North Macedonia to the European Union“, said he added.

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