Besimi in the Republic of Albania: Enhancing the cooperation in order a prompter integration of the region into EU to be achieved
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of European Affairs Fatmir Besimi, PhD, today has visited Albania. During his visit the Deputy Prime Minister Besimi met the Minister for European Integration Mrs. Klajda Gjosha and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ditmir Bushati.
This is the first official visit by the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Fatmir Besimi as of the appointment of the new Government of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Deputy Prime Minister Besimi has congratulated the Ministers of the Republic of Albania on obtaining the status of candidate country for membership in the European Union, emphasizing also that it is a good news not only for Albania but also for the entire region. He has also pointed out that the cooperation between the two countries not only will be continued but also will be strengthened on the basis of mutual interest of the both countries towards the membership in the European Union.
"The granting of candidate status to Albania has shown that Europe remains further interested in its enlargement to the Western Balkans countries" said the Deputy Prime Minister Besimi in his statement at the joint press conference with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ditmir Bushati.
The Minister for European Integration Mrs. Klajda Gjosha has noted that "one of the recommendations that Albania has received at the last ministerial meeting is to intensify the regional cooperation" and in that direction the participants discussed the opportunities to deepen it.
At the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister Besimi has emphasized the importance of regional initiatives for cooperation among the countries of the region that will contribute to the process of integration in the European Union and also to improving the living standard of the citizens.
The bilateral cooperation in the field of IPA funds in terms of absorption and implementation of joint projects has been discussed. In the period 2007-2013 within the Cross Border Cooperation Programme between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Albania a contracts in the amount of 6.2 million have been signed, and from a total of three calls for projects, a contracts for 41 projects in the amount of 3.47 million have been signed.
The cooperation in the area of EU funds will continue in the period 2014-2020. The Deputy Prime Minister Besimi has proposed the support and the experience of the Republic of Macedonia in the area of the decentralised system of conducting and outsourcing the projects to the Minister Gjosha.
In this respect, they have agreed on establishing a working groups for exchanging experiences. Both countries have had so far a successful cooperation in various areas, such as: transport policy, administrative cooperation and mutual assistance, police cooperation and the fight against organised crime, cooperation in the area of education and science, cooperation in the area of environment, customs cooperation etc. As a successful joint projects between Macedonia and Albania have been mentioned the railway section Kichevo-Lin, which has been financed by IPA funds and the transmission line Bitola-Elbasan, financed by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
At the end, the Deputy Prime Minister Besimi has invited the ministers to visit the Republic of Macedonia, as soon as possible, in order to initiate a concrete bilateral cooperation aimed at sharing experiences and capacities in several areas such as the area of the European Integration and the IPA funds, the establishing and meetings of working groups at technical level, the establishing a practice of regional cooperation with joint regional initiatives, as well as formalising this cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Cooperation.