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EU Warns Albania Over Reforms

The government of the Netherlands, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said in a statement on 14 September that Albania must do more to fight crime and reform its electoral process if it intends to pursue an EU Stabilization and Association agreement.

The statement noted that "it is of great concern to note that insufficient progress is being made in reform implementation, and particularly in areas that are vital for Albania's future and its successful integration" into the EU, such as crime, corruption, and trafficking in drugs and human beings.

The Dutch government also pointed to problems in guarding minority rights and pursuing electoral reform, adding that "all Albanian politicians have shared responsibility to properly prepare and conduct these elections. Failure in this crucial respect would be a serious setback for the development of relations between Albania and the EU."

(RFE/RL 16.ix.04)

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