Vienna, 13 October 2011 – On Thursday, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger met his Albanian counterpart Edmond Haxhinasto for working talks focusing in particular on Albania’s outreach towards the EU.
The talks between the two ministers reflected the progress report of the European Commission published yesterday, 12 October, which – although judging overall political and economic developments in Albania positively – refrains from a concrete recommendation for candidate status. Spindelegger encouraged Haxhinasto to step up reform efforts to fulfil the stipulations of the European Commission.
“Austria is fully committed to the European integration of Albania and the Western Balkans. As a result of the almost two-year blockade of its National Assembly, Albania has lost precious time which it must now make up for. Albanian politics must now jointly tackle the necessary reforms”, said Spindelegger. The split between the two political camps was preventing progress in many areas, the Foreign Minister continued. Only if all political forces pulled together could the country succeed in implementing the reform agenda and make rapid progress on its road into the EU.
“We are not just paying lip service to EU membership of all states of the Western Balkans. The EU will only be complete once all countries of that region have joined – provided that they implement consistent reform policies and focus all their political efforts on achieving this goal”, Spindelegger concluded.
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