Ralf Gjoni, MP of the new Albanian opposition, was invited at the meeting of the European Committees in Zagreb.
In this meeting, Gjoni said that the enlargement process should be credible and not just rhetoric.
“In 2013, in Thessaloniki, EU countries pledged to the European Perspective of the Balkans.
“15 years later, at the Sofia Summit, the member states reiterated their commitment to this perspective.
“Four years later, they closed the door to the faces of Albania and Northern Macedonia.
“Albania has problems with corruption and organized crime, but this doesn’t justify the refusal to open the negotiations.
“On the contrary, the negotiation process will help fight autocracy, isolate the criminal assets of politicians and strengthen democracy. Integration is not a gift to the next government in power”, Gjoni declared.
“If the countries will not become “smart” during the Croatian Presidency, they will create a huge and damaging vacuum for the region and for Europe itself, on two different fronts.
“In the first front, our European friends must not underestimate foreign influences, such as Russia, a country that is looking for the moment to penetrate in the region.
“There are other Eastern powers as well that are increasing their presence in Western Balkan.
“And at the second front are the groups that lack of the EU vision. They would create room for darker forces, of nationalistic or religious natures.
“We don’t need the European perspective just for rhetoric. Our citizens need a clear agenda on the negotiation, and strong EU commitment on the democratic development of our countries”, Gjoni declared.