“The protection of fundamental rights lies at the heart of the European Union’s values,” according to the conclusions of the EU General Affairs Council on Enlargement.
In the conclusions, which were approved on Tuesday, the importance of upholding the rights and non-discriminatory treatment of persons belonging to minorities, including national minorities, was emphasised.
Regarding Albania, the Council welcomed the first intergovernmental conference with Albania held in July 2022, as well as the reform progress made over the past year, including the successful completion of the screening meetings. The Council also recalled that an inclusive and constructive political dialogue in the country remains crucial in order to advance the adoption of EU-related reforms. It further welcomed the progress made, “notably in the areas of the fundamentals and in particular in the rule of law, the continued implementation of the comprehensive justice reform, and the reform of the public administration.”
At the same time, the Council called on Albania to continue its efforts to further strengthen the protection of fundamental rights, media freedom and freedom of expression and the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Turkiye: Council notes recent improvements in relations between Turkiye and Greece ‘in the expectation that they will be sustainable’
Regarding Turkiye, the Council recalled all previous Council and European Council conclusions on EU relations with Turkiye, including in particular the European Union’s strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with the country.
According to the Council conclusions, the EU remains ready to “engage with Türkiye in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner in a number of areas of common interest, subject to established conditionalities set out by the Members of the European Council on 25 March 2021 and in previous European Council conclusions.” The Council said that it “also remains committed to an “open and frank dialogue, to addressing common challenges and to cooperating in essential areas of joint interest,” such as migration, public health, climate, counter-terrorism and regional issues. The Council also noted the continuation of high-level dialogues between the EU and Turkiye on many of these issues.
The Council further took note of the recent improvements in relations between Turkiye and Greece “in the expectation that they will be sustainable,” while welcoming “the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which needs to be sustained.”