Ioannis Armakolas talked to Thanasis Georgakopoulos about the messages the EU attempted to send by organizing a Summit with the Western Balkans in a country in the region, but also about the importance of the Greek Prime Minister’s meeting with his Albanian counterpart in Tirana.

Regarding the EU-Western Balkans Summit, he said that after the delays in the enlargement process and in the shipping of vaccines to the country during the pandemic, both of which have been a source of great disappointment to the peoples and leaders of the region, the EU seems to have realized – especially in the wake of the war in Ukraine – that its role in the region is geopolitical and not only economic. Consequently, the EU is now trying to demonstrate that it has a vision for the integration of these countries, he said.

It is in this context, Armakolas notes, that Albania is to begin its accession process. And since it has no outstanding issues with other countries in the region, it can set about making the required reforms, but also resolving pending issues with Greece, such as the delimitation of the two nation’s respective Exclusive Economic Zones. The choice of a legal path provides Tirana with a solution that could allay concerns, he said, since the opposition has been presenting the issue as one of huge national interest, coupled with populist propaganda targeting Greece.

The legal path is thus the most appropriate, he stressed, adding that it remains to be seen whether the political will exists.


Click to listen the interview (in Greek – 40:30’)