“Opening negotiations for Albania’s accession to the EU is an important decision”. This has been written in a letter to president Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel by the leaders of the country’s religious communities. “We Albanians are part of Europe”, part of a “history that dates back to its origins” and “common cultural and social roots join us”, says the text, sent to SIR today. “We believe that our roadmap to the EU is what our people has always wished for”, a wish for a “free society in which everyone can assert their rights, among which the fundamental right that is freedom of religion and belief”.
Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Bektashi say they are “grateful to God” that “respect for religious differences, in a harmonious cohabitation, as one family”, has always been valued in the history of the Albanian population. The religious leaders speak of their young people, who are “the most excited about Europe” but they are also “the most frustrated ones, since they live near their European peers” but are left out of their opportunities. The religious leaders, therefore, ask Macron and Merkel to “support the accession process” at a time when “the values of tolerance, solidarity and human rights are deeply challenged by radicalism, fanaticism and other ill-fated ideologies”, thus acknowledging ”the sincere wish of all Albanians” and supporting “our irreversible commitment to Albania as part of Europe”.