EC President Ursula von der Leyen told a joint news conference in Tirana today with her host, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, that she fully supports the start of Albania and Macedonia’s start of EU accession negotiations.

I give full support to the start of negotiations with Albania and Macedonia as soon as possible. We’ve talked about it in the past, we’re working on it. Both countries have fulfilled all their tasks and now we are the ones who have to do our part. I am determined for Albania and Macedonia to start negotiations as soon as possible. I very much expect the intergovernmental session to be held by the end of the year, she said.

Von der Leyen also spoke about the EU assistance to the countries of the Western Balkans, primarily in dealing with the pandemic and strengthening the economy, and focused on the Berlin process, saying that “the faster the Berlin process, the faster EU integration. “