Rama: We are not running to become members of the EU, we need a new cooperation path for funds

11:16 31/05/2023

Prime Minister Edi Rama participates in the security forum that is being organized in Bratislava, Slovakia. The head of the government stopped at the delayed decision to open membership talks as he said that this happened as a result of the situations in certain EU countries. He said that the time has come for a new relationship between the EU and the Western Balkans and to open a path of cooperation in terms of funds.

“What we went through until we opened the membership talks was a neurotic process because it was clear that while we were ready to start the membership talks there was a pair of elections in one country, there was a threatening populist movement in another country. Instead of opening the membership talks as recommended by the European Commission and the EC, it is the most extraordinary machine that humanity has created to control every detail and drive you crazy with every detail, but in the end to have an objectively evaluated reality. Meanwhile, the European Council has a completely different logic. It doesn’t matter if you have fulfilled your obligations, if there is an election in a country, you don’t get it. Which is fine, but what we have been told is that you have to do more about corruption, you have to do more about this and about that.

We have done what we had to do in so far as the European Commission has rated a machine that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take care of every detail. Better to tell us, yes you are very well, but at this moment we cannot start a conversation with you because we have some problems of our own. You mention expansion fatigue. OK. We are not running to become EU member states. I am part of this decision school that thinks that when it doesn’t work with 27, how will it work with 33 with this plus 6 coming from the Balkans, which is more special. I agree with that. So let’s open a clear conversation to say no, this can’t work, find something different, but in the meantime you need to get more from us and we need to enter into a new relationship. It does not matter. We are quite willing to do this and accept that the time when I will be at the EU table to veto based on our Balkan opinion is very distant. But what should not be far away and should happen now is that the EU should open a new path of cooperation in terms of funds, otherwise there will be no future in terms of security and stability for the Balkans. And if the Balkans are talked about for the EU, this is pneumonia“, Rama said./broread