Rama Not Sure Whether Merkel Will Vote Yes

Rama Not Sure Whether Merkel Will Vote Yes
Prime Minister Edi Rama. Source: DW.

After his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke with Deutsche Welle about German–Albanian relations and possible opening of the EU accession negotiation.

Prime Minister Rama avoided several questions regarding whether Chancellor Merkel had given Albania the green light, in spite of the harsh criticism voiced last week by Bundestag Deputy for the CDU/CSU Gunther Krichbaum. Although he affirmed “her support and her friendship for Albania and the Albanians,” he stopped short of saying that she will vote for the opening of EU accession negotiations in December at the meeting of the European Council on December 15–16 in Brussels.

“I cannot say what I discussed with the Chancellor, because it has been a conversation that, as one says, belongs to room in which it was held,” Prime Minister Rama stated.

Once again, Prime Minister Rama denied that there would be any conditionality to the opening of the EU accession negotiations, in spite of Krichbaum’s “seven conditions,” Merkel’s “five.”

We’re not talking here about five or seven points that need to be resolved. We’re talking here about five priorities that are criteria and not conditions. These five priorities will accompany Albania during the entire process until the day of membership. These five priorities are also valid for many member states, in the good sense of the word. So we’re not talking about conditionality.

In response to the only “hard” condition mentioned in the European Commission’s Progress Report, that the opening of negotiations is “strictly subject to credible and tangible progress in the implementation of the judicial reform,” Prime Minister Rama stated that

we cannot officially open negotiations and in fact it wouldn’t make sense to request such a thing, if we do not start to implement the vetting law for the prosecutors and magistrates. This is the only condition for Albania.

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