The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was asked during her visit in Albania whether the Open Balkans initiative was a way to stabilize the region or move it away from the EU.
For the EC President, any initiative that is within the Berlin process and that brings cooperation is welcomed by the EU. In her joint press conference with the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, Von der Leyen underlined that the initiative should be an open and comprehensive process that deepens economic cooperation between the countries.
“I think we are looking at the economic performance and the deepening of the economic relations and the common regional market. The Berlin Process is the framework that is pushing forward the integration process, and the six countries of the region will benefit from it. We must not focus on words, but on the context, so that it can be an open process, comprehensive and that deepens the cooperation between the economies of the region”.
The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, declared that he discussed with the EC President the matter of the Berlin process and its progress.
“We discussed the regional cooperation and we know that Ursula von der Leyen is a close collaborator of Merkel, the person who started the Berlin process. This is why she knows and supports the process, and she can see how it serves to the approaching of the Western Balkans and the increasing of the capacities within the region. We have discussed all the problems of this process and we are on the same line that the process must continue. The required peace requires patience, dialogue, cooperation, and what the President underlined, mutual trust between the parties. Without that, it is much harder, and this requires a lot of patience and wisdom”, Rama declared.