Why the Tirana Summit was optimistic in content

Why the Tirana Summit was optimistic in content

In an analysis, Ditmir Bushati writes at the conclusion of the Tirana Summit that Albania's choice and the Summit's declaration were a very positive step.

Why the Tirana Summit was optimistic in content

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The six countries of the Western Balkans have been waiting for years to join the European Union. The development of the first EU - Western Balkans Summit in Tirana should be read as an expression of the EU's investment in the region, as a result of the new dynamics created in Europe with the occupation of Ukraine by Russia.

The choice of Albania as a host country is not a matter of alphabetical order or coincidence, but an indication of the unwavering faith of our partners, due to the aligned positions that our country has continuously maintained, as part of the Euro-Atlantic family.

The content of the Declaration of the Tirana Summit, unlike those of Sofia, Zagreb and Brdo, is a step forward, as it not only reaffirms the EU's full commitment to the perspective of the membership of the Western Balkans, but also calls for the acceleration of process, based on credible reforms, fair and rigorous conditionality and individual merit, as a process of mutual interest for the region and the EU.

It is time to work on mitigating the development gap between our region and the EU, strengthening the rule of law and democracy, so that the membership of the six Western Balkan states finally becomes a reality!