Pandeli Majko, Minister of State for Albanian Diaspora, has announced Albania will have open borders with Kosovo from January 2019. He made the announcement at the event marking the Day of Diaspora in Srbica. “We need to open the border between Albania and Kosovo. The Prime Minister has decided that from 1 January there will be free movement between Albania and Kosovo”, Majko said. Marko Djurić, director of the Serbian government’s Kosovo office, said that Majko’s statement only served to further aggravate relations in the region. The leaders of the Priština institutions, including Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj also attended the event but made no comments on the minister’s announcement.
Montenegro’s chief EU negotiator, Aleksandar Drljević, expects the opening of the remaining two chapters – 27 and 8 – to happen soon. The opening of the chapters will enable better functioning of the market and ensure greater and better supply of goods and services. The Western Balkans and the EU enlargement are on Austria’s list of priorities during its EU presidency, and Drljević expects this will help Montenegro. In an interview with Dnevne novine, Drljević said Montenegro is prepared to continue strengthening administrative and institutional capacities that will complete the reforms and lead Montenegro into the EU. Drljević said Montenegro expects biggest challenges in Chapters 23 and 24 dealing with the rule of law, the fight against crime and corruption and security. The challenges are due to their specificity and a different approach to negotiation, which, in addition to a high-quality and effective legislative and institutional framework, also focuses on concrete and measurable results in these areas.