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A. Musaraj: Address to World Summit 2013


Prepared text

PhotoThe European Union's Security Strategy that dates back to 2003 is perceived by many as outdated since it is too vague on common interests and ambitions and it does not present a coherent picture of the threats, means, and objectives.

The context has changed dramatically since 2003 when the Strategy was drafted.

The current financial crisis has forced the EU to clarify its capabilities and roles, avoiding disillusions of expectations. The effective multilateralism, which was the formula on which the European Security Strategy was based, must be also revised because the strategic context has changed to a multi-polar one.

The new Strategy, with a clear projection towards the future, should focus on the role of civilian and military capacities, proposing more engagement on their collaboration and specialization.

Security challenges are rather varied in nature (from illicit trafficking to terrorism, to conflicts, and other) and the EU would be able to propose important solutions and approaches but coherence of policies is lacking, and the ability to act using soft power has been often proven to be ineffective.

The problem is also that there are many countries that have changed their status from beneficiaries of security to providers at a global level (in the Balkans), or traditional providers have expanded their influence to other areas (China in Africa, for example).

The EU should find its own unique profile in the security panorama, starting with a new definition of its internal and external priorities, strategies, and issues.

The EU won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The EU is engaged in a number of activities for peace, peacekeeping, and reconciliation. The European Commission has established the Peace-building Partnership to develop the capacity of its potential partners to respond to crisis situations worldwide.

Civil society organizations, in particular – especially those with extensive field presence, - constitute an invaluable source of expertise in this area, either in providing policy-makers with reliable and timely information or analysis of incipient conflict, or in dealing with its consequences in the field. The EU’s policy for the Western Balkans is based on the concept of “stabilization through integration”.

The Stabilization and Association Process uses methods and instruments that are inspired by the models and experience of the enlargement of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Stabilisation and Association Agreements.

Albania has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since 2009. The transition from an individual security and defence system to one of collective defense is a fundamental shift in the concept of national defense and security, affecting development of defense capabilities.

Albania belongs to a region with a dynamically evolving security environment. Many positions in the field of security and defense of the Republic of Albania need to be updated as a result of these changes.

Albania needs to harmonize its defense spending with current and expected economic and financial developments. The Albanian Armed Forces will be directed towards a rational and realistic defense posture reflecting the macroeconomic and financial trends of the country.

In addition to the development of an Armed Force capable of fulfilling its mission, this comprehensive approach shaped a climate of cooperation for a coordinated development of capabilities in the area of national security, avoiding unnecessary, parallel, or obsolete capabilities.

Albania’s interests are at the centre of the national security and defence system. As an allied country, the NATO alliance is a key Albanian national interest.

In an increasingly global world, Albania adheres to the principle that “there can not be national security without regional and global security.” Albania considers the integration into regional and international security organizations as a strategic priority.

The Strategic Concept for the security and defence of the country is based on the Constitution of the Republic of Albania and on the Alliance’s Strategic Concept 2010. As the country strives for EU membership, Albania will also take into account the commitments for the Common Security and Defense Policy concept (a European Union document) and the European Security Strategy.

Our country and region today enjoys a more favorable security environment than 10 to 20 years ago. The presence of NATO, the EU, and other organizations in the region continues to be a supporting factor in building a lasting peace and regional stability.

Our region consists of Allied countries, aspirant countries, and partners with NATO or the EU. Security and defense reforms in the region have grossly reduced the risks of conventional confrontation. This is reflected through the development of small professional forces with mainly defensive capabilities, under the control of civilian authorities.

Forms of regional cooperation have expanded in the political, economic, and security areas and are expected to continue doing so. We have established standing multinational military units, participated in joint operations, and provided mutual assistance in civil emergencies. This cooperation is expected to be further extended in the context of a regional 'Smart Defense', currently under development.

One factor affecting our national Strategic Defense Review is the risk assessment which involves a broad spectrum of national, regional, and global current and future features.

The region faces a decline in the short and medium term of the traditional risks, conflicts between states or groups of states, due to the Alliance's conventional military superiority and its presence in the region.

The non-conventional and asymmetrical risks are expected to increase in the years ahead, being rooted in various cultures, ideologies, and purposes, and the risks may take sophisticated forms. Albania will be committed against non-state adversaries together with the Alliance in the national, trans-national, and international context.

Risks from natural, industrial, and human factors will most likely increase, requiring an engagement by the military in a supporting role when the scope of the resulting consequences goes beyond the capabilities of civil authorities.

Our country faces emerging security challenges in the context of our membership in the Alliance, requiring the altering of our capabilities to deal with such sophisticated threats such as cyber-attacks, hybrid threats, challenges of energy security and scarce resources, or maritime piracy.

Carrying out the constitutional mission of our defense system in national and international operations will be more complex and diverse. We are deeply committed to maintain and reinforce our role in the region and inside the Alliance as an “Exporter of security and stability.” We are definitively committed to uphold a vision of universal peace and stability in the world and an integrated concept for the development of all humankind.

For more information about World Summit 2013, click here.