16 November 2009
Conference in Tirana: "Visa-free travel for Albania the final steps"
View of the panel
View of the panel

This conference, which was organised by ESI and the European Movement Albania (EMA), offered an opportunity for a discussion of the steps undertaken by Albanian authorities to reach the remaining benchmarks from the roadmap on visa liberalization. The goal was to identify ways how the process can be accelerated, both by Albanian authorities, but also by the relevant actors in Brussels, in order to ensure that Albanians are granted visa-free travel as soon as possible. The conference sought to engage the authorities in an open and intensive dialogue with civil society and other interested actors. It took place in the framework of the European Stability Initiative's Schengen White List Project and was supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Apart from Alexandra Stiglmayer from ESI and Ilir Qorri from EMA, the speakers included Ilir Meta, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Helmuth Lohan, Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Albania, Tanja Fajon, Member of European Parliament and rapporteur for the Commission's visa proposal of 15 July, as well as Etion Kapedani, Secretary-General at the Albanian Interior Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry of Albania as well as the EMA and ESI presented where they see Albania's current roadmap achievements. They concluded that Albania had made great progress in the last few months and that it could finalise implementation early next year, which should help it obtain visa-free travel in mid-2010.

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com