ATA News

Albania completes pre-application procedure for Single Euro Payments Area

TIRANA, April 27/ATA/ Minister of Finance Ervin Mete participated in the meeting of ministers of European affairs and finance of the Western Balkan which was held in Podgorica, Montenegro.

The European Parliament approved two days ago the 6 billion Euros package of the new Growth Plan for the countries of the Western Balkans.

While taking the floor in the ministerial, Mete stated that this Financial Package is a clear expression of the EU’s support for the acceleration of reforms and the integration process of the region. He emphasized the importance of the membership of Albania and the countries of the Western Balkans in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the progress made in this direction.

“The opening of SEPA to non-EU countries, as part of the EU Commission’s new Growth Plan, presents a unique opportunity for the Western Balkans to significantly reduce payment costs within the region. The economies of the Western Balkans are highly interconnected with the European Union, therefore it is important that we aim to create efficient cross-border payment links”, he said.

Mete said that Albania is at an advanced stage in terms of fulfilling the EU criteria for SEPA, while it has completed the pre-application procedure.

“Albania is at an advanced stage in terms of fulfilling the criteria for membership in SEPA. The Bank of Albania has approved the set of necessary regulations and at the end of last month we completed the pre-application procedure,” the minister further stated.

Inclusion in the Single European Payments Area brings numerous benefits to the countries of the region, such as reducing the costs of banking transactions and facilitating trade.

While Minister of State and Chief Negotiator for Integration in the European Union Majlinda Dhuka praised the vote of the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans by the European Parliament, calling it a clear signal of the EU’s political support for the countries of the region. She emphasized that the countries of the Western Balkans should further deepen the cooperation between them in order to increase the convergence with the EU.