Rutte positive about Albania’s EU membership: ‘Corruption? The Netherlands is not perfect either’ | Inland
There is a good chance that Albania and North Macedonia will start negotiations on a loan to the EU. The two Balkan countries are already candidate members. Rutte was recently fierce about EU membership of these countries, but he has since returned. There is also a majority in the House of Representatives in favor of EU enlargement. Albanian Prime Minister Rama will be in The Hague on Monday for dinner with Rutte.
“Albania has made huge strides,” said Rutte when asked about the problem of corruption in the country. Albania still dangles in Europe an overview of countries with the least corruption. “We help,” says Rutte. “The Dutch are in Albania to advise how they can take the country further. We’ll discuss everything else. Great strides have been made since 2014. The Public Prosecution Service, the National Police and the Marechaussee all work together with the Albanian partners.”
According to Rutte, Albania has cleaned up the judicial system considerably. For example, corrupt judges have been fired. “As a result, there are now many vacancies,” says Rutte. “People need to be trained: the Netherlands also helps with that. We’re not there yet. But the Netherlands is not perfect either.”
Albanian Prime Minister Rama recognizes that his country still has to take steps. “If we didn’t have problems with corruption, we would have said we want to join the EU now,” Rama said. “But we don’t say that because we know we don’t have a lot of work to do yet. There is no doubt about that. It is not about us joining the EU next week of next month. It is about building a strong democracy, with the help of the Netherlands.”