Cakaj-Le Drian: France appreciates Albania’s reforms being instrumental in its progress towards the EU

During the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj had a meeting with the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

In the course of this meeting, Acting Minister Cakaj introduced Minister Le Drian to the progress of reforms in Albania concerning the five priorities, and to Albania’s expectations for a positive recommendation by the Commission in May, and for the decision by the European Council about the start of negotiations in June.

Acting Minister Cakaj expressed the Albanian authorities’ determination to rapidly proceed with the setting up and consolidation of the highest justice institutions, and with the other reforms necessary for the enforcement of the rule of law. The newly established justice institutions, Acting Minister Cakaj said, have already paved the way for the candidate selection procedures for the full complement of the Constitutional Court, the setting up of the Special Anti-corruption Structure, and the selection of the Attorney General. He expressed the determination of the Government of Albania to continue to carry out all the necessary reforms, which will be instrumental in the efforts of Albania on its path towards negotiations with the European Union.

On his part, the French Minister Le Drian underlined that the justice reform is a highly positive undertaking, with the satisfactory progress made by Albania impacting in the best possible way on the setting up of an independent and professional justice structure, and Albania’s progress on the path towards the launch of negotiations.

Likewise, the French Minister appreciated the actions taken by Albania so as to reduce the number of Albanian asylum-seekers in France, with such number having had a significant drop from 2017 to 2018. He appreciated the Albanian authorities’ enthusiasm and seriousness to proceed at the same pace with the transformation of the justice system, and with the reforms carried out with regard to the five priorities of the EU.

In the course of the meeting, they also discussed Albania’s preparations in the framework of its OSCE’s Chairmanship in 2020, and the opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. Before wrapping up the meeting, the Ministers discussed the situation in the Western Balkans, Albania’s role there, and the regional cooperation.

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