On 17 March, the British Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Nicholas Cannon met English-speaking students to discuss on the relations between Britain and Albania.
Mr. Cannon spoke briefly about Britain’s view on Albania, current developments in the United Kingdom and Albania’s aspirations to join the EU. Following his presentation, the Ambassador answered several questions from the audience. The ambassador emphasised the common values that Albania and UK share, such as free and fair elections, good governance, welfare, media, and religious freedom. Talking about the diplomatic ties between the two countries during the last 25 years, Mr. Cannon said that they have moved in different stages; first as friends, later as partners in working for Kosovo’s independence and now as allies in NATO. The Ambassador also focused on the country’s aspirations for EU membership, a process in which judicial reform plays a critical role, as a weak judicial system results in social problems.
The next stage is of course Albania’s accession to the EU. The United Kingdom supports the accession of Albania and other Western Balkans countries to the EU, as it also helps the consolidation of the Union. But, in order to be ready to join, Albania needs to reform in a number of areas and then tell the EU; we are ready to join
said the Ambassador, suggesting that a credible judicial reform would be crucial in unblocking the EU accession process.
The Ambassador noted that in the last three years the number of scholarships for Albanian students through the Chevening Programme has more than doubled, enabling seven students to finance their studies in the UK.