The ninth Subcommittee meeting on Internal Market and Competition under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Albania took place on 17 October in Brussels. The meeting was co-chaired for the EU by Mr. Georg Ziegler, Deputy Head of the Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina Unit at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission and for Albania by Ms. Kleopatra Maliqi – Deputy Minister, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
The Commission highlighted the cross-cutting importance of the topics discussed at that meeting, which are also relevant for Albania's Economic Reform Programme and for the establishment of a regional economic area in the Western Balkans, which was endorsed at the Trieste Summit on 12 July 2017
In the field of competition, the EU emphasised the need for the Competition authority and the State Aid Commission to develop a more robust enforcement record. The operational independence of the State Aid Commission remains to be demonstrated.
Albania was encouraged to continue making progress in the enforcement of intellectual property rights, in particular in the fight against counterfeit goods.
The EU noted that Albania needs to step up its efforts to align its legislation with the EU rules in most of the sectors in the area of public health, where its level of preparedness is still at an early stage.
The EU noted that Albania is continuing to make efforts for aligning banking supervision with international and EU standards and to address the problem of non-performing loans. It also acknowledged the progress made in ensuring the independence of the Public Procurement Commission, while underlining the need for Albania to make further progress in the alignment of its legislation with the acquis in the area of public procurement.
The EU welcomed the progress in the liberalisation of the postal services. Significant efforts are still needed to prepare for the EU system of mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Finally, the EU welcomed the developments in the approximation to EU rules in the field of company law, accounting and auditing.