Press Advisories

4. 5. 2009 11:16

Mirek Topolánek accepts Albania’s application for EU membership

Albania’s Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, presented Albania’s application for EU membership to President of the European Council Mirek Topolánek.

This solemn act, which took place at the seat of the Czech Government, was also attended by European Commission Director General for Enlargement Michael Leigh.

“During the whole accession process, the Czech Republic will support Albania in its efforts, also after the end of the Czech Presidency”, said Mirek Topolánek recalling the fact that 20 years ago the Czech Republic acquired its freedom, 10 years ago it became a member of NATO and 5 years ago it joined the EU, so it understands very well the importance of heading towards integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. “I personally consider the past twenty years as the best period of our modern history and wish Albania to reach the same goal”.

On 1 April 2009 Albania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and today it seeks EU membership. The Albanian Prime Minister thanked the Czech EU Presidency for the support shown so far and said that he was happy to be handing over his country’s EU application to Mirek Topolánek. “For me, Prague is not only a symbol of hope but also of success”, said Sali Berisha, adding that 96 % of Albanians are in favour of joining the EU and that EU membership is a priority both for the Government and the opposition.

In June, Albania will hold parliamentary elections. The Czech Prime Minister and the Director General for Enlargement of the European Commission stated that a free and equitable electoral process and the rule of law are of key importance for Tirana to move closer to the EU. “The next steps must be taken by Albania and the European Council”, said Michael Leigh, specifying that Albania’s ultimate accession to the EU will depend on how and when the country meets the accession criteria.

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