In an interview to ABCNews about the integration process of the Western Balkan countries, David McAllister, chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee stated that “the decision” to open accession negotiations is “not in the hands of the European Union”:
It is up to the Balkan countries to decide whether they want to become part of the European family. For this they need to accept our political systems and share the same common values.
Nevertheless, he hoped to open the first accession negotiation chapters not later than the beginning of next year.
McAllister also emphasized Albania’s need to fulfill the EU’s conditions and enforce democracy.
The key priorities for an accession negotiation process are the rule of law, enforcement of democracy, enforcement of minority rights, human rights, rights of the opposition, freedom of the media. These are key for a state based on the rule of law and democracy.
According to McAllister, the opposition has a key role in controlling the government, which should not be ignored:
The opposition is there to control the government and in a democracy it is normal that time after time there is a change in power. […]
It is important that there is collaboration between the government and the opposition for important questions and the aim and general interest of the Albania’s EU membership needs to be supported by an responsible politician.