Latest News from Albania

Athens ‘very positive’ on North Macedonia's European path, Osmani says

The government of North Macedonia was pleasantly surprised by the support lent by Greece's conservative government in last year's European Union summit when France refused to let the country (and Albania) start talks on joining the bloc, North Macedonia's Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani told Kathimerini recently in Brussels.

EU overhauls process for admitting new members

The European Commission will propose changes to the system for letting new countries into the European Union to give existing members more say, in a bid to mollify France which has vetoed expansion of the bloc to six countries in the Balkans.
In October, President Emmanuel Macron halted the process of admitting Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia.

Countries thank Turkey for airlifting citizens in China

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Albania thanked Turkey on Feb. 1 after a Turkish military cargo plane traveled to China's coronavirus-hit city Wuhan to evacuate its own as well as those countries' nationals.

Turkish plane leaves China with evacuees

A cargo plane with 42 passengers departed from China's Wuhan city for Turkey after evacuating Turkish citizens from the heart of a deadly coronavirus outbreak, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 1.

Eleven military personnel, six health employees, two journalists, and a Foreign Ministry representative are on board the plane that arrived at 6 a.m. local time (2200GMT) in Wuhan.

Romania's Transgaz signs MoU on development of natural gas networks in Eastern Europe

Romania's Transgaz national natural gas transmission corporation signed on January 28 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Partnership for the Development of Natural Gas Networks in Eastern Europe (EE-NGP), according to a press statement released on Friday to the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB). The memorandum was signed by all the entities that are members of the project.

The Western Balkans will not benefit from Brexit - there are no shortcuts

"There are established rules for the accession process," Sassoli said at a news conference in Brussels.
Asked what the UK's exit from the EU means for the Western Balkan countries and whether any of them will be the ones that will take up its vacancy, he said that in addition to the established rules, there is a need for exchange of ideas and dialogue when it comes to enlargement.

Albanian, Kosovo Football Chiefs Plan Joint Cup Honouring Saint

Albania's governing football body, the FSHF, together with Kosovo's Football Federation, the FFK, has filed a request to UEFA to form a joint a new joint football competition named after the Catholic saint of Albanian origin, Mother Teresa. It will be called the "Mother Teresa Cup". 

Albania Socialists Step Back From Media Laws Showdown

Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama speaking in parliament on 30 January. Photo: Malton Dibra/LSA

The head of the Socialist parliamentary group, Taulant Balla, said the vote would be postponed while the Council of Venice, the advisory body to the Council of Europe, carried out an express evaluation.

Roma Face Brunt of Western Balkans Demographic Crisis

This is the latest in a series of articles about the demographic crisis facing Central and Southeast Europe.

See also: Bye-Bye, Balkans: A Region in Critical Demographic Decline

ForMin Aurescu: Credible enlargement process of the European Union, a strategic investment

A credible enlargement process of the European Union is a strategic investment and the accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should be opened "without further delay or preconditions," Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday, as he participated in an event that marked the taking over by Croatia of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

EU plans intensive talks on future enlargement procedure

The President of the European Council said on Friday the bloc will be holding intensive discussions in coming weeks on how future enlargement should be managed.

Charles Michel, who was in the Albanian capital, Tirana, to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, said all member countries "are unanimous on one point — that the Western Balkans' future should be toward Europe."

Albanian Mayor Probed Over Cocaine Snorting Video

Prosecutors in Albania summoned a mayor for questioning on Thursday over a video filmed by a security camera from above, showing someone apparently snorting cocaine.