Full EU membership is the only solution for the Balkan region

Afrim Gashi is the president of an Albanian political party Alternativa, which in North Macedonia has 4 members of parliament, and right now is an opposition party in coalition with Alliance for Albanians.

In one of his interviews for the BG-news agency he speaks about the political developments in North Macedonia, the relations with Bulgaria, his stances about the dispute of Bulgaria with North Macedonia, Bulgarian-Albanian relations, and also for other topics of mutual interest.

Speaking about the actual political situation in North Macedonia, he insists that the situation in which North Macedonia finds itself nowadays is due to more than one factor, like the pandemic situation, early parliamentary elections, the high corruption, the blockage of integrations, the problem with narcotics in the country, the declining economy, as well as the dispute with Bulgaria when it comes to EU integrations.

When it comes to the dispute between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, he says that the decision of Bulgaria to stop the negotiations for a full EU membership, even though it can be fully backed by arguments, was not the best approach, because in a way it fueled up the quarrel between North Macedonia and Bulgaria and as well allowed the continuance of Serbia’s influence in our country. On the other hand, the blockage of EU integrations has highly affected the long-term hope of the citizens in the integration of the country. When it comes to Bulgarian-Albanian relations, he says that Albanians, as a nation in all over the Balkans, have no dispute whatsoever with Bulgaria, while they do have a frozen conflict with Serbia. His proposal for the solution of this problem is to look for the framework of the EU institutions. Thereby he states: “I am convinced that whichever option offered as a substitution for EU keeps alive all the tensions and conflicts between nations and countries alike in Western Balkan”. “Therefore – he states – EU integrations needs to be achieved for the region as a whole, because only in that way is it possible to put an end to Serbian – Albanian tensions and any other existing in the region”.

When it comes to the idea of the union between Albania and Kosovo and will it have any influence to the Albanians in North Macedonia, the president of Alternativa replies : “As for the Albanians of North Macedonia, I personally think that this topic does not include us. That for, I have to repeat, the only solution for this question is the integration in the European Union”. /BGNES