TIRANA, July 4
Albania is one among the three countries in the Western Balkans that will get support for the construction of the domestic and regional railway network project that are expected to be adopted during the Western Balkans Summit of Paris, which started on Monday in France’s capital. Given that the hitherto reforms in the country focused on transportation and energy, Albania wants to boost cooperation in the sectors of transport and energy with the countries of the region.
This is the third summit in the framework of the Berlin process and it is attended by 12 delegations, six from the European Union (EU) member countries France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia and six delegations from the Western Balkans. The participants discussed the European perspective of the Southeast Europe countries and what they have accomplished so far in terms of economic cooperation and youth initiatives.
Albanian Minister of Economy, Milva Ekonomi said that the Berlin process is showing the first results.
“The Paris Summit is an excellent opportunity where we can share successes and challenges. Albania marked significant progress in the sectors of infrastructure, trade and energy. The inauguration of the 400kV transmission line with Kosovo is the best example of link-up in the region,” Minister Ekonomi said.
She highlighted that Albania is determined in the Berlin process as it is a significant opportunity for the countries of the Western Balkans.
“The countries of the region must have an active and leading role in easing trade and interconnection,” Ekonomi added.
In the meantime, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn stated that regional link-up is important for enhancing trade.
For its part, Albania focused on the sector of railway transport. Progress was made in the rail connection with Montenegro, while consent for a rail line with Greece was obtained. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will give a loan of Euro 34 million for the railway line between Tirana Public Transport Terminal (PTT) and the city of Durres and the construction of a 7.4 km railway line between the Tirana PTT and the Tirana International Airport (TIA).
During the meeting, the six countries of the Western Balkans will sign a treaty establishing the Regional Youth Cooperation Office. The Office will be based in Tirana, and half of its budget will be financed by the six signatory countries and the other half by international financial institutions and the European Commission. The initiative was launched by prime ministers of Serbia and Albania at a summit in Berlin in 2014.
News Source: Local media