Sat. Jun 25th, 2022
Brussel, 20 May 2022

A delegation of seven MEPs visit Tirana and Podgorica from 23 to 26 May to express support for moving the enlargement process forward.

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) shall assess Albania and Montenegro’s progress and further reforms needed to advance towards EU accession.

They will reconfirm Albania’s readiness to start EU accession negotiations and express support for Montenegro’s efforts to conclude them. The visit will address issues highlighted in the European Parliament’s Albania report adopted by the plenary on 19 May 2022 and the Montenegro report adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 12 May.

The delegation of seven MEPs, led by the AFET Chair David McAllister (EPP, DE), will meet the political leadership, opposition and civil society representatives in both countries from 23 to 26 May.

To see the impact that pre-accession funding has had in both countries, Members will visit a school reconstructed under the EU4schools programme, a border crossing point constructed with EU support and will assess conservation efforts to preserve Lake Shkodra/ Skadar’s biodiversity. They will also inaugurate ‘Europe House’ – a modern meeting, debate and networking space promoting EU values in Podgorica.

Composition of the delegation

The Members of the delegation are the following:

David McALLISTER (EPP, Germany), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Head of the delegation

Željana ZOVKO (EPP, Croatia), Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Hildegard BENTELE (EPP, Germany)

Isabel SANTOS (S&D, Portugal)

Thijs REUTEN (S&D, Nederlands)

Thomas WAITZ (Greens/EFA, Austria)

Angel DZHAMBAZKI (ECR, Bulgaria).

Background

In its latest annual resolution assessing Albania’s progress on the path towards EU membership, the European Parliament reconfirmed that Albania has fulfilled the necessary conditions to officially start accession negotiations.

Montenegro is the country that has advanced the most in the EU accession negotiation process. In a recently approved report, the Committee on Foreign Affairs welcomed a new minority government composed of pro-European parties, warning that political tensions were slowing Montenegro’s progress on EU-related reforms.