Bundestag member Thorsten Frei, who is also CDU’s reporter for Albania, declared that there is no possible way for negotiations between Albania and the EU to begin before the end of 2019.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Frei stated that, according to Germany, Albania must first carry out its electoral reform, before requesting the opening of accession negotiations:
Said clearer: the first accession conference will only take place after the local elections take place based on a new electoral reform that has been approved in a bipartisan manner.
Among other things, Frei said in his interview:
- Brussels agreed that this issue [opening accession negotiations with Albania] will be on the agenda again, in 2019, that is, after the European Parliamentary elections.
- Chancellor Merkel did not address the issue. Seeing as there was no agreement with the Bundestag, she could not address the negotiations in Brussels.
- However, it is clear that before the German government casts its vote, it must have the decree of the Bundestag. Therefore, we still have to vote for our motions.
- We, as the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, would have welcomed a decision for opening conditional negotiations today. We would have agreed to open negotiations with Albania on two conditions: the completion of the vetting process for the 57 higher judges and prosecutors, and the completion of the electoral reform.