In October, Emmanuel Macron announced his opposition to the entry of North Macedonia and Albania into the European Union.
Erjona poses on the multicolored paving stones of the central square of Tirana. But as soon as we talk to Emmanuel Macron, the 22-year-old loses her smile. “It should not be possible for one country to determine the fate of another country” She says. “It must be decided by the majority.This is not possible that only the elite of France can decide our destiny.”
While the France team faces Albania on Sunday, November 17 as part of the Euro 2020 qualifiers, the match will have a certain taste of revenge for the Albanians. Indeed, the decision of Emmanuel Macron to veto the opening of negotiations for accession to the European Union with North Macedonia and Albania has been strongly criticized in a country resolutely turned towards Europe , and very francophile.
Like many Albanians and North Macedonians, Erjona did not appreciate the French president's veto. This economics graduate is tired of having to wait at the door of the European Union. “Our generation is aging, we are waiting, time is running out and we are still not members of the European Union, whereas it is really something we want.”
If Albanians love Europe, they also love France. Opposition MP Ralf Gjoni voted for Emmanuel Macron in 2017. This French-Albanian felt hurt by the “no” of the French president. “Albanians are people who love France and love the French,” confirms the MP. “It is very disappointing to see the French president block negotiations for Albania.”
In the Balkans, the European perspective is often synonymous with democratization. Gledis Gjipali, from the European Movement in Albania, fears the consequences of the French president's decision. “If we lose this direction, this motivation for the European Union, it will be difficult to see great progress in this direction in the coming years.”
I did not react badly because I was expecting this decision.at franceinfo
Although the French decision was widely criticized in the Balkans, it did not surprise young people like Dhurata, who is hurrying to be on time for her work as a teleoperator. “During all this time, we did not do anything we were asked to do.”
Corruption, crime, lack of meritocracy … For Dhurata, the problems are very real in Albania, and are reasons to leave. “If the negotiations do not open, we will continue to leave the country by asking for asylum, or by other means.”
Even if the door is difficult to open, Albanians already have a foot in the European Union. Since the fall of the dictatorship in 1991, more than one million Albanians have settled in one of the 27 EU member states.