Conference in Tirana: "Visa-free travel for Albania - the final steps"

16 November 2009
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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.