“One day we will welcome Albania and North Macedonia as equals”, Von der Leyen appraises the achievements of the two countries

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“Your government and people have worked really hard to get here; they have demonstrated dedication and tenacity to do so. They have established the rule of law, provided free media, created a thriving civil society, implemented several reforms, and modernized their economy. You took these actions because they are beneficial to your nation and increase its chances of survival.”  On the eve of the intergovernmental table, Ursula Von Der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, gave this opening statement at a press conference alongside the prime ministers of Albania, Edi Rama, and Macedonia, Dimitar Kovaevski.

As she voiced her support for the two nations in this endeavor, the President of the EC stressed the three important issues that will be discussed after this session.

“Negotiations: Following today’s intergovernmental conference, the commission and the negotiating teams will go to work. The assessment will allow Albania and RMV to fully understand the forms and agreements, and we’ll get going right away.

“The second point is that we will be close in crucial procedures. Albania will join the European civil protection, and this will enhance the confrontation on civil emergencies, earthquakes, and several other issues in order to ensure that the EU will be there and support such causes.

The third point is that the benefits will continue because you will have a path to the EU, there will be increased investment in important areas, such as energy and transportation, which will optimize the impact of EU funding, which means new employment and opportunity for your citizens, and they deserve it.”

She applauded the efforts of the two governments, describing the course of this process as a triumph for the Czech presidency.

“Finally, Prime Minister Rama and Kovaceski, I will speak directly to you. You have demonstrated great leadership, strategic patience, and vision, but in these trying times following the brutal Russian aggression, you have demonstrated your partnership with European principles as true allies. Congratulation on the success of the Czech presidency in initiating negotiations, which was built on the efforts of past presidencies.

Von Der Leyen closed her remarks by saying, “The people of Albania and North Macedonia deserve it, and we will all be together where one day we will host Albania and North Macedonia as equals.”