Rama: Albania’s EU accession withheld by disagreements between Bulgaria and North Macedonia

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Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has claimed once again that the country’s EU integration process is being held hostage as a result of differences between the other two nations, a condition that, in his opinion, can only be created by the European Union.

The head of government also noted, during a session of 18 Speakers of Parliament convened in Tirana as part of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, that the war in Ukraine is an extraordinary lesson in how only by working together can the traps of the past be avoided.

“What is happening today in Europe, in Ukraine, is a remarkable lesson for all of us to move forward toward cooperation, peace, and avoiding the pitfalls of the past.  The further we travel into the Balkans, the deeper they become. This war serves as a reminder to do all possible to improve collaboration and to develop new bridges of interaction between individuals, business communities, art, and, of course, states. It is critical that we do everything possible to make this collaboration valuable. Individually, we are better than we were, but collectively, we are losing a lot of potential. We are small in the region to pursue a change that will make our people feel equal in a fair length of time, but by joining forces, we are not so small, and the space we may create may be more appealing to great actors who regard us as a country of possibility.

We are all in the process of assimilating into the EU, which is a difficult process. Albania is currently held captive by a stalemate between our neighbor North Macedonia, and our good neighbor Bulgaria. It is a predicament that only the EU produces, and there is no literature, no experience, and no explanation for how to address it. How can you be held hostage by the other two entities’ squabbles? As a result, we must go on while maintaining our enthusiasm for Europe,” Rama stated.