Prime Minister Quotes EC Official to Deny EU Council’s Conditions on Albania

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has reiterated that the EU has not set any conditions to his government before sitting in EU accession talks.

Rama’s statement follows that of Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, an official at the European Commission, who made a confusing statement about the issue on Monday.

Calavera was specifically asked by Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, during a session of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, whether Albania indeed had to meet 15 conditions before seating in talks.

Picula’s question possibly derived from Rama’s repeated denial of such conditions on his government: “We saw different interpretations of the March Council conclusions. Can you bring clarification concerning the issue of the conditions to be fulfilled before the first intergovernmental conference?” 

Director for Western Balkans Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, who had earlier presented and praised the Albanian government’s achievements in meeting these conditions, was nevertheless unable to clarify whether they exist or not.

“They are not 15 conditions to have the first intergovernmental conference” but “15 conditions that will be necessary before the intergovernmental conference,” she said. 

On Tuesday, Rama referred to Calavera’s confusing answer in defending his claim that there are no conditions for his government.

“For all those who sing the song of 15 conditions before the official launch of negotiations for EU accession, or repeat after it after listening to it: there are no 15 conditions, and whoever repeats that song simply has the political purpose of a blind war against the government, in public and in the media. Ms. Calavera speaks on behalf of the European Commission,” Rama wrote in a Facebook post besides a questionable translation in Albanian of Calavera’s statement.