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She recalled the Council Conclusions of June 2018, in which the EU Member States set out a clear path towards opening accession negotiations with Albania in June 2019, setting out a roadmap for the EU and Albania collectively in the year ahead. "There are no new conditions. What is crucial is that Albania continues to deepen the current reform momentum and maintain the same level of determination it has shown so far."
Mogherini highlighted the importance of sustained and constructive political dialogue in order to continue with reforms in the interest of the Albanian citizens. "The reform agenda needs to be pursued relentlessly in a spirit of compromise and inclusiveness, in line with the June Council Conclusions, not only for the opening of accession negotiations, but most of all because Albanian citizens expect it and ask for it."
2019 presents the opportunity for the region and especially for Albania to have clear progress on its European Union integration.
The discussions also focused on the situation in the region and the importance of good neighbourly relations and regional stability. Mogherini acknowledged Albania's role in the region as a constructive partner and Albania's continuous, 100% alignment to the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Albania is an EU candidate country since June 2014. The country has made progress towards meeting the political criteria for membership and, overall, steady progress continued in the five key priorities (reforming the judiciary and the public administration, fighting corruption and organised crime, and protecting human rights). The European Commission on 17 April 2018 recommended opening EU accession negotiations with Albania.