During the visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared she had a special need to recall the earthquake that hit Albania on 26 November 2019. She said she is happy that the European Commission has issued invitations to a donor conference to be held on 17 February in an effort to move forward with reconstruction. "Germany will be participating in this donor conference," said Angela Merkel.
The 55-year-old Edi Rama has headed Albania’s government since September 2013. The Balkan state took over the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from Slovakia at the start of the year.
The Chancellor also spoke of the reform course Albania has taken. With a view to reforms of the judiciary, a great deal has already been achieved, she said. This is a "key building block" in Albania’s future. "On behalf of the German government I would like to say that we stand squarely behind the EU perspective of Albania and of the Western Balkans as a whole," re-affirmed the Chancellor. Germany wants to see these states moving closer to the EU.
At the next European Council meeting in March, an agreement is to be reached on the assumption of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. "Both countries have already achieved a great deal," praised Angela Merkel. The future of the Western Balkan states in the EU is also in the interests of Germany, she said.
Edi Rama last visited the Federal Chancellery in September 2019. During the Western Balkans Summit in Poznan on 5 July 2019, the Chancellor praised the substantial progress achieved in the entire region in spite of continuing political difficulties.