Minister Bushati attends Thessaloniki's Inter-Ministerial Meeting between Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati attended the Third Inter-Ministerial Meeting between Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia, which took place in Thessaloniki on 3 – 4 May 2018, with the participation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Interior and Ministers of Infrastructure of the four countries.

The latest regional developments were at the centre of the discussions, especially the expectations of our country, as well as Macedonia, to advance in the European path after the recommendation of the European Commission to open the negotiations. This inter-ministerial meeting discussed the progress of the European perspective of the region, the drafting of new projects and the enhancement of political cooperation with Greece and Bulgaria, as important partners and supporters in the region in the approximation process with the European Union. The topic of the discussion was also the identification of security challenges for our region, stemming from recent developments in the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean region and elsewhere, as well as the impact of these developments on the migrant crisis towards the Balkans.

In his remarks at the Foreign Ministers' Table, Minister Bushati stressed the importance of this regional cooperation format for strengthening good neighbourly relations and promoting interaction in view of the future European perspective of the region.

“Intensifying our commitment will enable us to further consolidate political dialogue and regional cooperation oriented towards EU, it will also strengthen our ties through sectoral development, cross-border cooperation and improve our readiness to face security challenges from within and outside our region,” said Bushati.

Moreover, Minister Bushati stressed that: “The reform processes and transformation of our region is long and difficult but we are determined to advance this commitment. Albania deserved to receive the recommendation for opening of EU membership negotiations, as a result of the reforms undertaken and the addressing the 5 key priorities. Although there is enlargement fatigue and Europeanization fatigue, still there is no other option for us for developing or consolidating security in our region, rather than the EU and NATO. However, the main need now remains to give a substance to the integration process in our region.”

Ministers of Interior and Infrastructure focused their discussions on further strengthening cross-border cooperation, the fight against illegal trafficking and the prevention of natural disasters and in the interconnectivity of road and rail transport networks between our countries, as well as possible ways to advance cooperation in this area

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