Balkans News

Verbal Clashes In European Commission Regarding Balkan Accession Dates

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The meeting of the Foreign Policy Committee for Balkan European Integration was recently held with tense debate. MEP and EU reporter for Albania, Knut Fleckenstein, attacked verbally Jean-Claude Juncker, President of EC, who assessed Serbia’s progress better than that of Albania and appointed a date for Serbia’s EU membership. Fleckenstein maintained Albania has made more progressive steps regarding justice reform compared to other Balkan countries.

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Albania hopes to open negotiations for EU membership at a time when Serbia and Montenegro could receive good news of a European membership date soon; even PM Rama has expressed his discontent towards the EU in a number of interviews given to foreign media.

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During a discussion with ABC News, Fleckenstein stated that he hopes EU member states will support his recommendations on Albania and urged the Albanian government to further proceed with the vetting process and the five priorities. Asked about the issue of former Minister of Internal Affairs, Saimir Tahiri, Fleckenstein said it has nothing to do with the vetting process, which is centered on scanning prosecutors and judges to make the new judicial system function better. He considered Tahiri’s issue as specific, stressing that the General Attorney’s Office know what they are doing–If they had enough evidence they would have lifted his immunity and arrested him. He added that his US colleagues are even following this issue with much attention. He concluded that the most important thing at this time is to fulfil all tasks set prior to the negotiations for EU membership.

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