Envoy sees Albania closer to EU candidate status, pending smooth govt transition

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-4 8:58:53

Albania has a good chance of getting candidate status to the European Union provided it carries out a smooth transition of power and speed up its reforms, a European Union envoy said on Wednesday.

The European Union and Albania's NATO allies want an orderly transition in the Adriatic country that has been no stranger to political unrest after voters gave the opposition a landslide victory over the government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

A smooth handover, already started by Berisha's concession of defeat, could salvage the performance of Albania's democracy despite an atmosphere of political mistrust and a killing that marred the election day.

"After these elections, we trust there will be a smooth transition of power in order to concentrate and accelerate the reforms which are needed for Albania," Ettore Sequi, the European Commission's ambassador to Albania, told reporters.

"All the opportunities in order to get the candidate status are there and we trust that this will be possible thanks also to this renewed commitment," Sequi added.

The leftist coalition led by Edi Rama's Socialists has assured the Albanians and the European Union they will speed up reforms and loop in the opposition in taking Albania forward.

Albania applied to come aboard four years ago but has not yet been made a candidate for membership due to concerns over the state of its democracy, especially the quality of elections.

"I see signals that the political mentality seems to be moving away from the culture of confrontation towards the spirit of inclusiveness and compromise," Sequi said.

"And this is very much European, and this is very much what can help to accelerate the pace of Albania joining the EU as soon as possible," he added.

Posted in: Europe

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