EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said Tuesday in Brussels after meeting with Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto the country’s continuing political deadlock hasn’t helped its bid for EU candidacy.
Fule cited an “urgent” need for reforms and referred to “the missed opportunity to make substantial progress” down the EU path due to the violence and political standoff in the wake of a disputed May 8 election for mayor of Tirana, the Trend News Agency reported.
The pair met during the Third Joint EU-Albania Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee, in which the Polish EU presidency was expected to urge the backers of incumbent Tirana Mayor Edi Rama and declared winner Lulzim Basha to put aside their differences for the good of the country.
Doing so may be the only way Albania can meet a set of 12 recommendations set by the European Union to pave the way to its candidacy as a possible member, analysts have said.
The EU will decide by October whether to grant Albania candidate status, UPI.com reports.
Despite the call for action from Fule, Haxhinasto said Tuesday he believes his country can be named a candidate for EU accession this year.
“As positive as I am, I believe that this is going to happen before the end of this year,” Haxhinasto told reporters in Brussels.