From: Exit Staff
Michel-Rama: Future of Western Balkans Is in Europe, Despite Disagreement on Enlargement

The President of the European Council Charles Michel stated today in Tirana that Albania’s and the Western Balkans’ future should be towards the EU but countries should deliver on reforms and fight against crime and corruption. He added that there is no unanimity among EU members on further enlargement, for which a new methodology will be introduced for discussion soon.

“The future of this country, of the Western Balkans should be towards Europe but this requires an engagement to continue with efforts for reforms, modernization, justice reform, fight against crime,” Michel was quoted as saying in a press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

The Council’s president confirmed he will attend the Donors’ Conference on the Albanian earthquake that left 51 dead, thousands of people homeless and thousands of buildings damaged.

Rama stated that progress toward EU integration does not depend on his government now but on EU’s internal debate on the new methodology. “Even if France would attempt to enter the EU under this circumstances, it would be refused by France,” Rama said.

He assured President Michel on the continuation of reforms, fight against organized crime, and informed him on his government’s latest “Special Anti-KÇK Package” draft.

The so-called “Special Anti-KÇK Package” has been presented by Rama as an important step in the “fight against terrorism, mafia and organized crime” and he says it will “destroy the foundations of crime nests.”

If approved, the laws will give the government new powers, including restricting citizens’ movement, arresting citizens without court orders, being able to search property at a whim, and being able to tap phones and social media communications as they wish.

President Michel will also visit Skopje today to meet with North Macedonia’s leaders.