What does the Dutch request to the European Commission over Albania mean for Georgia?
The latest European Commission progress report concluded Albania, similarly as Georgia, has been cooperative in tackling various issues regarding the visa waiver, irregular migration and organized crime. Which is precisely why the government was not receptive to the motion, citing a lack of support from other member states to trigger the suspension mechanism. The EU Delegation to Albania reassured this was merely Dutch domestic politics at play: Albanians have nothing to worry about.
However, the motion was supported by 105 of 150 MPs throughout the spectrum, including three out of four governing parties. Despite initial reluctance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok (VVD, liberal conservatives) has requested the European Commission to invoke the suspension mechanism, which the EC is now bound to evaluate, a European first.
The Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a press statement expressing they are confident the European Commission will not support the Dutch request. According to the Albanian government the criteria to visa waiver suspension have not been met:
“Illegal migration of Albanian citizens to the Netherlands has decreased continuously, while the temporary suspension mechanism applies in cases where illegal migration has risen by more than 50%. Crime figures also record a substantial decline.”