Majlinda Bregu: The integration process has lost its old charm

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Countries of the Western Balkans haven’t shown efficacy in absorbing sufficient projects and funds from the European Union.

These were the remarks expressed by the General Secretary of the Council on Regional Cooperation, Majlinda Bregu, during her interview on Euronews Albania’s ‘Raw Politics’.

“In order to have a regional project, there need to be regional ideas and bank lobbying. We haven’t been successful in absorbing regional projects. I am referring to the entire region, because I understand that people usually speak about what hurts them the most, but I am forced to speak about the region,” said Bregu.

Bregu also touched upon today’s discussions at the Berlin Summit, saying that the main message shared today was that: the bilateral problems between countries of the Western Balkans shouldn’t in any way, become an obstacle for the agenda of regional development.

“Today’s message, even though it was the last summit under the leadership of Merkel, was the continuation of our regional cooperation and so that we are careful to not let bilateral problems impede on our regional agenda,” she added.

Bregu also told host, Erla Mëhilli, that Albania’s and the other countries of the region’s road to the EU, is being stalled because of the fact that the European Union has lost its “past charm”.

“Since November of last year, there has been a plan that is called the joint regional market of the 6 countries of the Western Balkans. It is a project, which today, has lost its past charm. We cannot wait another 30 years in this region, to say that we are members of the EU, when EU member states are exhibiting problems amongst one another and in their cohabitation.

We have always worked hard to keep the European narrative alive in our region, but you can’t keep a narrative alive by… a political cycle only lasts 4 years, for the prime minister of the Netherlands and the prime minister of North Macedonia alike, everyone wants a success story in their political career, we can’t wait 15 years and have nothing happen,” noted Bregu during her interview on Euronews Albania’s ‘Raw Politics’.

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