Veliaj welcomes the President of the Wallonia Region Elio di Rupo: ambassador for the integration of Albania in the EU
The Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, today presented the Key of the City to the former Prime Minister of Belgium, currently President of the Wallonia Region, Elio di Rupo. Based on the fact that he previously ran the Municipality of Mons, one of the cities that, like Tirana for Youth, was the European Capital of Culture, Veliaj said that this meeting, but also the further cooperation of the regions, is very fruitful for our two countries.
"It is a great pleasure to welcome in the Municipality of Tirana a friend of Albania and Albanians, a friend of our prime minister, but also a friend of our city, Elio Di Rupo. Of course, what unites us is the experience as a mayor, and I believe that whoever was once a mayor "cries about his problems" to his colleague, because he understands how big the multitude of problems is, as the first barrier to confronting the citizens, where it is necessary to solve most of the day's work. Since Tirana is this year the European Capital of Youth, and Mons, under the direction of our friend, has been the European Capital of Culture, we had the opportunity to exchange experiences on how cities can sometimes 'punch' above their weight, to represent a whole nation, so we in Tirana have also felt this responsibility," said Veliaj.
The mayor appreciated the fact that Belgium has continuously supported Albania's journey to the EU. "We have a very special relationship with Belgium - one of the countries most promoting the European integration of Albania - and I really hope that with this visit we will strengthen this relationship. We were the most isolated country in the world, in Europe today we are one of the most open countries and we want to enjoy this special relationship we have with Belgium and the Wallonia Region," declared Veliaj.
For his part, the President of the Wallonia Region, Elio di Rupo, pointed out the transformation of Tirana, but also of all Albania, as a merit for the recent opening of EU membership negotiations. "What I see is a radical transformation, which is also noticeable by the mayor's will to move forward, the help he gives to people to find solutions. I think we all need women and men who step forward, who want to increase the quality of life in the community. Regarding the issue of the EU, I think that with the work of the Commission, with the work that has been done here, Albania has the opportunity to move forward. This key is a very important symbol because we need a key to understand what life is. A key is needed to move forward," Elio di Rupo said among others.