Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Netherlands vetoes Albania’s EU candidate status

Published: 13/12/2013

EurActiv EXCLUSIVE / The Dutch parliament has voted against a government proposal to grant Albania the status of EU candidate, preventing EU leaders from rubberstamping the proposal during a summit in Brussels on 19-20 December. 

The development is likely to inflict a heavy blow to the accession hopes of the Western Balkan nation, which according to the Commission has delivered on EU requirements and so should be granted the status of candidate country.

Ralf Gjoni, Senior Foreign Policy of the Albanian Parliament, made the following comment to EurActiv Greece:

"As reflected in the last progress report, Albania has made immense progress and huge efforts to deserve the candidate status. All political forces are united in keeping the European agenda as a national priority.

“The Dutch vote in their national Parliament is incomprehensible, unfair and does not take into account the regional impact of such a decision. It is also an indication of the size of internal problems certain EU countries are going through.

“We have long advocated that European integration keeps the entire western Balkans on the right path of progress and stability.

“Saying NO to Albanians, is not the right message to the region, and would discourage our pro-European efforts. Despite the Council's decision we will continue with our reform agenda, standing firm in our belief that European values are still alive. But an EU without the entire Balkans in it, is not the kind of Europe I would want".

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