Albania’s EU accession negotiations, first intergovernmental meeting of what may take 10 years

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The first intergovernmental conference between the EU and Albania, which will take place on Tuesday, is simply the beginning of a long path that must culminate with the country’s full integration into the European family.

According to integration issues specialist Gentian Xhaxhiu, July 19 is only a political statement, and technical level negotiations will begin after the negotiation framework is determined.

“The first stage is to establish a negotiating framework that allows for the scanning, or screening, of legislation and only legislation, rather than its applicability on the ground. What is the gap between Albanian legislation and EU legislation, and the negotiation is nothing more than closing this gap between what we have at home and what they have at home.  If there is a potential of reconciliation, then concrete conversations begin “Xhaxhiu stated.

He argues that the pace of negotiations will be determined by the speed of reforms, and the most hopeful scenario for Albania’s complete EU membership is 2032. Experts are concerned about the lack of qualified people in government to participate in technical negotiations.