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FM Bushati: Albania’s contribution to strengthening regional cooperation

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TIRANA, February 14/ATA/ – Europe is being threatened by an increase of nationalism, soft rule of law and extremism which are main challenges the European Union and aspiring countries are encountered with, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati in his address at the workshop hosted by Europa Institute at the University of Leiden in Netherlands on Wednesday.

According to him Europe is more focused on itself and less open to foreigners while an increase in patriotism or its revival is the first most salient threat of security we face today, in Western Balkans as well as in the rest of Europe.

Regarding external threats in Europe minister Bushati said that extremism as a phenomenon is one of the external biggest threats Europe encounters. “These threats include; violent extremism and relevant aspects; the fight of Foreign Warriors, fight against trafficking and intervention of third actors in the region.”

“Albania has adopted a national strategy against violent extremism in November 2015; a 2017-2019 action plan was adopted on October of the past year. This action plan will treat a comprehensive approach in addressing foreign warriors issue through undertaking hard and soft measures. Albania approved the establishment of the Centre against Violent Extremism in December 2017 focusing mainly on the prevention of extremism and influence of extremist ideologies against terrorism identifying the best practices of preventive measures.”

In his address, Albanian top diplomat Ditmir Bushati stated as well that “as an EU candidate country, Albania remains firm in its vision on improving security in the region and beyond. We are firm supporters of the regional cooperation in all aspects but especially in security issues as we are aware that treating issues earlier than late and neighbour countries’ cooperation implies that we would not have to deal with long-term aftermaths of potential risks and challenges. Cooperation experience between EU member states, despite not being perfect, sets the best example.”

According to him, this constitutes one reason of investigating any possibility to increase cooperation with other countries in the region.

“Strengthening our cooperation in the framework of NATO is also critical: NATO’s serious and determined commitment in Western Balkans is by all means described a success story in the region.
NATO’s open doors policy is a powerful means to “secure and utterly abolish gray areas” by this part of Europe as well as to urge internal reforms and good neighbouring policies between the countries.

“I am a true believer of the EU re-enacted enlargement police to Western Balkans and to an objective cognition of the countries that have undergone dramatically transforming reforms such as Albania’s case which is in the long-term interest of Europe as a whole.”

“Besides the transitioning effect the accession process has upon institutions and our society an upgrade of enlargement policy would increase security in Europe.

“The best political and security cooperation between EU and Western Balkans as well as opening accession negotiations for the countries ready-to-join would be a strong testimony of Europe’s awareness to this need,” FM Bushati concluded.

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