In the framework of May 9, the Europe Day, the EU Policy Hub in cooperation with the Faculty of Social Sciences organized a discussion on the European perspective of Albania and its integration process. Challenges for the integration of the Western Balkans and Albania in particular are numerous and not just institutional or technical. The biggest challenges are those of the values and principles upon which the European Union is set up, which, more than institutions, belong to the Albanian society and mainly the young people who will be the protagonists of the future. Thus, this activity was conceived as an open discussion with students to discuss and analyze with them the current challenges of Albania’s integration into the European family.
Invited to this activity were experts in the field as Dr. Dorian Jano, Executive Director of the Integration Policy Forum; Mrs. Fjoralba Caka Deputy / Minister of Justice and Dr. Orinda Malltezi, Head of Department at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
In the opening speech, Mrs. Orinda Malltezi – Head of Department made a short presentation about the creation of the European Union, after the end World War II. In her address Malltezi stressed briefly the current challenges of the European Union which are related to BREXIT, the wave of emigrants from the Middle East, the increase of left and right extremism, the rise of liberal democracies etc. Finally, Mrs. Malltezi expressed optimism about the revitalization of the European project and the conviction that the EU will recover and will continue to integrate the Western Balkans countries.
In her speech Mrs. Caka – Deputy Minister of Justice presented some of the major treaties such as Rome, Amsterdam or Lisbon in the basis of EU. Further, Mrs. Caka shared in a glance the essence of European values and identity. After her presentation the floor was opened to questions and comments from the students who discussed some of the key issues surrounding the European values and a common European identity.
Finally, Dorian Jano – Executive Director of EU Policy Hub emphasized Chapters 23 and 24 as two of the most important negotiating chapters. He also stressed the importance of the opening of negotiations and the prospect of Albania for membership. Mr. Jano stressed the importance of broad social participation in the context of integration, making it clear in this way that the process of integration is not only the work of institutions but of each of us contributing modestly.