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UK supports Albania in EU, but the reforms should be irreversible

British official in Tirana says Member States want to see sustainable progress in all of five priorities

Mr. Graham Styles visits Tirana. Image: Top Channel
Mr. Graham Styles visits Tirana. Image: Top Channel

The Head of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia Section for the Western Balkans and Enlargement Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr. Graham Styles paid an official visit to Tirana.

Mr. Styles met Klajda Gjosha, Minister for European Integration, whom he reassured about the United Kingdom’s support for Albania’s aspirations to join the European Union. While he welcomed the progress achieved so far, Mr. Styles underlined that if the justice reform is done properly and in an irreversible manner, it would constitute a decisive step towards EU accession. “We know that this is a politically controversial issue and that it requires difficult political decisions, but it worth doing” Styles said.

Mrs. Gjosha on the other hand reassured Mr. Styles that the government is fully engaged in finalising the reform in the judiciary. During his visit Mr. Styles met also other Albanian politicians and officials who informed him about the country’s progress and reforms.

Towards the end of his stay in Tirana, Mr. Styles spoke to Albanian media, reiterating the leading role UK has in supporting Albania’s aspirations for joining the EU. Mr. Styles said that the process will be difficult and long, but it should be irreversible, and the reforms sustainable. Asked whether he thinks that the finalisation of the justice reform will lead to the opening of accession negotiations for Albania, Mr Styles said while it was important, it should not overlook the remaining four priorities, because the EU Member States want to see progress made in all of them.

Published 6 October 2015