English/French

Tirana's friendly attitude towards Italy

Nga: Genc Mlloja

Veteran Ambassador Marsili on Albania's Willingness to Receive Migrants

"The enlargement process towards the Western Balkans should be, in my view, a priority for European Union. In this framework, it should open as quick as possible the access negotiations with Albania. I am also supporting the continuation of the negotiations with Turkey that a few European partners have unfairly stopped. A more active European policy could introduce a lot of improvements in the Western Balkan’s atmosphere and reinvigorate ours," noted the seasoned Italian Ambassador, Carlo Marsili

"Albania, together with Ireland, was the only European country to be willing to receive a certain number of migrants. That says a lot on the attitude of European Union. But this says a lot, too, on the friendly attitude of Tirana towards Italy," has said Ambassador Carlo Marsili, Honorary President of Foreign Honorary Consuls in Italy and of Italian Honorary Consuls in the World Associations

"Albania and Italy enjoy wonderful bilateral relations in every field and the two peoples are very close to each other," said in an exclusive interview with Albanian Daily News Mr. Marsili, a career diplomat (1970-2010) who was among others Italy's Ambassador to Turkey and Indonesia.

Author of the book “Turkey Knocks at the Door” published by the University Bocconi, Milan, 2011, he was Deputy Diplomatic Advisor to Italian Prime Minister (1988-1993) and Director General at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2000-2004), as well as Deputy Chief of Mission in Germany (1993-1998).

In the extensive conversation with Albanian Daily News Ambassador Marsili touched upon a lot of questions as the migrant crisis and the failure of the European Union to cope with that issue, the mood existing in Italy among actors of political scene as well as of the population on this issue which are, as he observed, very much divided.

According to him, the migrant crisis has highlighted one of the many problems which has gripped the European Union - the inability of Brussels to make the Union attractive for the peoples as it used to be. "I grew up with the great dream of the “United States of Europe". Since years this dream has been brought down. That means that we need a change of attitude in the European governance; we need a vision and not only an unbearable amount of bureaucratic and useless regulations. I strongly believe in Europe but in a different one," said Mr. Marsili, who had been awarded the Highest Decoration of Republic of Italy (Cavaliere di Gran Croce) and the Highest Decoration of Republic of Turkey for a Foreign Diplomat (The Order of Republic).

The senior Italian diplomat thinks that Brexit will not be imitated by other European countries. "They will try to modify the European governance from inside and the elections of next spring might be a good occasion," he said.

In a comment on the perspective of the relations of the EU with the US and its President Donald Trump, he is of the opinion that President Trump is more inclined to deal with single states instead than with the European Union as a whole. In this context he puts two questions: "But does it exist a European Union as a whole? Does European Union have a common foreign policy? This is the problem, and this problem cannot be solved by President Trump. We have to face the reality and be proactive, keeping in mind that the dreams die to the dawn."

Further on the seasoned Italian Ambassador expressed the opinion that the enlargement process towards the Western Balkans should be a priority for European Union. "In this framework, it should open as quick as possible the access negotiations with Albania. I am also supporting the continuation of the negotiations with Turkey that a few European partners have unfairly stopped," said Mr. Marsili.

The Ambassador praised the 'excellent' work of Italian and Albanian Ambassadors to Tirana and Rome respectively expressing the pleasure to hear that more and more Italian tourists are visiting Albania.

"I feel very guilty to confess that I have never been to your wonderful country but it is my firm intention to visit it very soon," said Mr. Carlo Marsili in the following interview:

- The migrant crisis is escalating and the contradictions among EU members are becoming harsher with regard to handling that issue. A rising rhetoric is evident with Italy being criticized for its anti-immigrant stance. What would you say on that?

- The European Union has unfortunately failed to cope with the migration issue. Of course, it is a very difficult challenge but all together the result is not a positive one. We are aware that no European country is now ready to accept more migrants but it is extremely unfair to put the burden on countries, like Italy, because they are the first arrival point of this./ADN