EU enlargement, the Open Balkan Initiative and new World Bank report.

The Letter From The Consulate

No. 169.
Gentofte/Copenhagen, Monday 25 October 2021
Dear reader,

European Commission presents 2021 enlargement package
The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, presented on Tuesday 19.10.2021 before the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) the 2021 enlargement package. The package comprises the European Commission’s (EC) reports on the candidate countries to EU accession, Albania included.

In remarks delivered on this occasion, Várhelyi stressed that delays in the holding of First Intergovernmental Conferences for Albania and North Macedonia have a negative impact on the EU’s credibility. “The delays in the official launch of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia are having a negative impact on the credibility of the EU. Pending bilateral issues between Bulgaria and North Macedonia need to be resolved as a matter of priority.
​It is crucial that EU Member States conclude the discussions on the Negotiating Frameworks without further delay and that the first intergovernmental conferences with both countries are held as soon as possible and before the end of this year,” he was quoted as stating. 
“Throughout the reporting period, the government maintained a focus on reforms required for the country’s path towards the EU, despite the challenge of addressing the negative social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the new legislature, the majority and the opposition will need to improve political dialogue and work together with all parts of society to further advance the EU reform agenda and accession negotiations. Co-ordination within the administration needs to be improved, notably regarding EU integration,” reads the EC’s report on Albania.


TIRANA 20.10.2021 - The press conference of Prime Minister Rama and the Ambassador of the European Union to Albania from the Prime Ministry in Tirana looked like a 'Deja Vu'. For several consecutive progress reports, the European Commission says almost the same words about Albania, concluding that negotiations with Albania should be opened as soon as possible, but the internal problems of member states prevent this.

Rama emphasized the same in his communication with the media, as he did not forget to underline again that regardless of whether or not the negotiations are opened, Albania will continue its path towards development as we owe the obligation of European Albania to the younger generations.

Rama said the EC is the fairest and most impartial partner in judging and assessing the progress of countries and any blockage coming from EU countries is only for politics.

In the same line was the ambassador of the European Union in Albania, Luigi Soreca. He said that the report confirmed once again that Albania has met all the conditions and that the first intergovernmental conference should be held within 2021.

The World Bank presents the latest edition of Western Balkans regular economic report. 
In a press conference held on October 21. in Tirana, the World Bank (WB) officials commented on the latest edition of the Western Balkans Regular Economic Report.
The World Bank has found that for the year 2021, economic growth in Albania is expected to be at 7.2%, the highest growth in the region, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. These figures were announced by the World Bank Country Manager for Albania, who also stressed that Albania still has many uncertainties affecting its economy, such as rising energy prices. For the World Bank, the Government should take measures to design appropriate policies to support citizens. The World Bank economist, Hilda Shijaku, that the low vaccination rates and the increase of new COVID-19 infections add to Albania’s economic insecurity. Shijaku stressed that the public debt remains high and will be a challenge for economic stability.

The food lovers index!

Click on index or here for more food info....

Read about the Open Balkan Initiative here.... 
You might also visit the website of the Albanian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. 

That´s all for now,

Hans-Georg Nielsen
Albanian Honorary Consul

Comments and suggestions are welcome on hgn(at)
PS. This newsletter is mainly sent to relevant Danish and Albanian authorities, to Danes who have shown interest in Albania, to Albanians living in Denmark and to the friends and contacts of the consulate.

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