Minister of State McEntee travels to Skopje and Tirana
Press release04 February 2019
Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., travels to Skopje and Tirana
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., travels to Skopje and Tirana today for a working visit with the Finnish State Secretary Mr. Samuli Virtanen.
During their visit to Skopje, the Ministers will meet with Macedonian Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Zaev and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bujar Osmani.
In Albania, the Ministers will meet with Interior Minister, Mr. Sander Lheshaj, the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr.Sokol Dedja, and a number of other leading political figures in the country. Together with the Albanian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Bledi Çuçi, and the EU Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Luigi Soreca, Minister McEntee will also launch an EU funded joint Irish-Finnish project on food safety.
During the visit, Minister McEntee will discuss Ireland’s bilateral relationship with both countries, as well as topical issues such as their EU path, the reform process, the Prespa Agreement and developments in the wider Western Balkans region.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Minister McEntee said:
"I am delighted to be visiting both Skopje and Tirana at this crucial time with my Finnish colleague, State Secretary Virtanen. The visit will be an opportunity to discuss with the leaders in both countries their respective EU paths and the reforms they are undertaking. This is important as a decision will be made in June on the opening of accession negotiations with both countries.
I am also looking forward to launching the joint Irish-Finnish food safety project in Tirana. This four year project is an example of Europe in action – combining EU funding with Irish and Finnish expertise to bring real benefit to Albanian citizens."
5 February 2019