ALBANIA AND EU RELATIONS
March 5th, 2013
SUBJECT: PIR EVENINGT FORUM REPORT
DATE: 05 MARCH 2013
SUBJECT: ALBANIA AND EU RELATIONS
a. STAFF: Assist. Prof. Dr. Salih Ozcan, Assist. Prof. Dr. Bekir Çinar, M.A. Niuton Mulleti, M.A. Ismail Soygenis
b. Master students and PIR fourth class students: TOTAL 20
2. MAIN DISCUSSION SUBJECT:
We choose one of the current agenda topics of Albanian public; ALBANIA in the course of EU Candidacy.
Discussions main back bone has been formed on the following EU Enlargement Strategy, 22nd November 2012:
“Any acceding state should resolve its main bilateral problems and major disputes with neighbors, particularly those concerning territorial issues, before it can join the Union; recommends strongly that these issues be addressed as early as possible in the accession process, in a constructive and neighborly spirit and preferably before the opening of accession negotiations, so that the latter are not negatively affected; in this regard, considers it essential to take account of the EU's overall interests, its values, and the obligation to fully comply with the acquis and respect the principles on which the EU itself is founded”
3. SUMMERY OF THE FORUM TOPICS:
Benchmark of the discussions has been provided by the Mr.Niuton and Bekir ÇINAR. Main headlines of the background information as follows:
a. Mr. B. ÇINAR
· The Balkans currently reflects a mixture of Greek-style economic problems, Berlusconi-style politics and Turkish-level hopes when it comes to joining the EU.
· With Italy and Greece facing deep political and economic troubles of their own, the Balkans has lost its natural advocates for EU membership.
· Many of the key political and administrative elites of the EU have declared that the Balkans is an integral part of Europe and the unification of Europe will not be complete until it includes its south-eastern part.
· Albania’s application for membership to the European Union on 28 April 2009 was an important landmark for a country that less than 20 years previously had emerged from communist rule as the poorest, most isolated, most repressive, and most inscrutable country in Europe.
· One of the four crucial determinant of Albania’s transition is the fact that despite being in a region of Europe that is a mosaic of overlapping ethnic and religious communities, Albania has no major domestic inter-ethnic problems.
· The final determinant of Albania’s transition is the fact that the country shows little propensity for religious conflict
· Serious and organized crime is of increasing importance from the security perspective. In addition, corruption is a threat to the bases of the democratic system and the rule of law.
· As a Conclusion there are no significant differences between the systems in Albania and the EU in terms of basic principles and institutions for the underlying policy areas affecting the correct application of the rules on own resources.
b. Mr. MULLETI:
Mr. Mulleti spoke about the EU- Albania organizational compatibilities he mentioned many treaties and processes that are passed and in which Albania is included. A very important part of Mr. Mullet’s remarks is as follows:
· Copenhagen Criteria by the EU which Albania has to fulfill before integrating itself to the EU Family. He mentioned three most important Copenhagen Criteria:
· 1- Political Criteria, stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities; which he told is Albanians current Problem,
· 2- Economic Criteria, the capacity to cope with competition and market forces within the EU, and
· 3- The institutional criteria: the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.
c. Mr. İ. SOYGENİŞ:
He explained following points as the main challenges for both sides:
· Albanian government for planning a referendum to decide on the country's accession to the European bloc is the change of the rule at the middle of the game. EU is concerned and criticized the ALBANIAN Government about this referendum rule. This means to put the EU vision at risk at the beginning of the road.
· Second challenge is from the EU side, the preconditions as the homework, put forward by the EU on 12 points: Most important and requiring great efforts to overcome of these homewo0rks are the ; achieving rule of law and preventing corruption.
· Last but not the least challenge in front of the ALBANIA is solving its disputes with its neighbors. Chameria problem with Greece will be a real challenge to achieve the EU condition.
· But EU is not a normative base organization. Subject to locomotive states of the EU, (Germany and France), could change the rules and be implemented case by case (flexible).
· Good example is the Greek Cypriot membership process. It has been granted EU membership despite the historical and vital problems with the Turkish Side, even the treaty of Ankara states that Cyprus could not join to international organization w-o consent of the guarantor states-TU-GR-UK.
· As a conclusion, Mr. SOYGENİŞ advised that Albanians should not be pessimistic, because the EU final aim is to create a whole and free European state in the European continent. Without ALBANIA and KOSOVA peace and stability -albeit economic, security, social- could not be realized. ALBANIA-KOSOVA together will be the key of the gate of the BALKANS. BALKANS is the eastern gate of the EUROPE. EU could not take the risk of the “new balkanization wave”. I hope history will not repeat this time, based on the lessons learned from the past.
d. Mr. S. ÖZCAN;
He summarize the whole discussions and thanked to all participant for the fruitful inputs to the lively discussions. He also draws the attentions on the importance of the participation (%70).
a. Majority of the participants has expressed the importance of the good friendly relations with the Greece.
b. Peaceful solutions could be achieved through bilateral talks. EU efforts could also be helpful to reach fair solution.
c. EU Accession process is also positive boost in adapting the state to more democratic, and welfare state.
5. NEXT SUBJECT OF THE FORUM:
e. As the result of our discussions; one of the main threat and challenge in front of the candidate status for the ALBANIA is corruption and rule of the law. We will discuss this subject in at the next forum.
6. NEXT MEETING DATE and PLACE:
Date: 19 1800 Mar13
Place: National Library, At the Center.
Subject; “Corruption and how to fight”