This week in Talking Europe we take a look at some of the other countries besides Ukraine that are knocking on the EU’s door to join the bloc. EU leaders held a summit on Thursday with Western Balkan states to discuss their accession process. For Albania, that started in 2008 and has not yet advanced to the stage of negotiations. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke with Luke Brown of FRANCE 24 on the sidelines of the EU and Western Balkans leaders meeting in Brussels.
branch is increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress on his country’s EU candidacy: first threatening not to attend the meeting and then announcing that the process was being “hijacked” by the Bulgarian veto over the accession process of his country and North Macedonia.
Albania has the status of a candidate for the EU since 2014. The prime minister said that “it is not that Albania has made slow progress towards the EU, but that the EU has slowed down a lot towards the future of itself”; however, he says that he is no longer “frustrated”, but rather saddened by the failure of the EU to “deliver on the promise made to Albania and North Macedonia”.
Rama went on to describe EU candidate status as “a kind of antidepressant pill” to boost the morale of countries, but stated that he felt it was “fair to recognize the Ukrainians as a nation that is doing a lot for us.” they prevent the “progress of the most terrifying counter-reform in the world that Putin wants to launch”.
Produced by Isabelle Romero, Georgina Robertson, Perrine Desplats and Sophie Samaille