Minister Hoxha in Tirana: Our path to integration has no other alternative

Tirana, 4 October 2018 - Minister of European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha, attended the Meeting of Ministers for European Integration of Southeast Europe, organized in Tirana by Albania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austria's Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Integration, and the German GIZ.

A Declaration on Cooperation and Mutual Support was signed following the Meeting of Ministers for European Integration of Southeast Europe.

Best practice and mutual support in the EU integration process was the topic of the session co-chaired by Minister Bushati and Minister Kneissl.

Minister Hoxha discussed the public's awareness and the importance of communicating the EU values in the region, the perspective of the region within the integration process, and the cooperation and exchange of experiences for this process. The Minister stressed the importance of promoting human rights, democracy and rule of law but also the EU principles, the economic development and employment, doing business, education, youth empowerment, gender equality and many other areas that directly affect the well-being of citizens.

"I would like to talk more about gender equality, let's focus especially on promoting this value. We know that all countries in the region face challenges in terms of gender equality, and the best way to address these challenges would be through the common path of European integration", said Minister Hoxha, and mentioned specific challenges such as gender-based violence, the low participation of women in politics and decision-making, the lack of gender mainstreaming, the gender stereotyping, and the discrimination in the labour market.

The media, the politicians, the EU institutions and civil society organizations, said the Minister, are stakeholders playing a special role in this process. Lack of coordination may lead to having controversial messages that can be in favour of the anti-EU narratives.

The Minister proposed to draft a strategy regarding regional cooperation and communication. Kosovo is interested to deepen this cooperation and I believe that together we will be more successful in addressing the challenges of EU communication, and this is certainly in the interest of all the countries in the region, said Minister Hoxha, while expressing the commitment of the Ministry of European Integration to be part of the joint efforts for better communication strategies.

Meeting of Ministers for European Integration of Southeast Europe was concluded with the signing of the Declaration on Cooperation and Mutual Support.

Minister Bekim Çollaku
Bekim Çollaku