The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, has repeated his call for the EU to give more support to Western Balkan countries who are facing rising prices, inflation, and energy issues.
Rama’s comments, which were reported in EURACTIV, followed a meeting between his government and that of North Macedonia held in Skopje. As well as calling for greater support, Rama criticised the “huge and excruciating” gap that currently exists between becoming candidates for EU membership and opening the accession process.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the EU and Western Balkan nations face many of the same problems and stressed that it was interest of both parties that they look to see which way countries such as Albania can be included in measures to tackle the ongoing economic problems.
The meeting with North Macedonia was also used to finalise 21 separate agreements, memorandums and protocols, ranging from developing roads and child protection to papers relating to defence and security.
On top of this, the North Macedonian government made a commitment to using the Albanian language in official institutions.
Rama concluded by saying that the EU must not act towards the West Balkans in the same way as it did during the pandemic, when “Balkan countries were forced to run to China, Russia and Turkey to start the rescue operation of nurses and doctors for vaccination”. He then accused the EU of “closing itself and seeing only within the walls of its own castle”, and appealed for them not to do the same again.
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