Political situation Need for systematic reforms
However, many reform endeavours have not yet been implemented systematically enough. Albania’s political parties have a strong tendency to work mainly for the benefit of their respective voter groups. Some important political decisions, for instance on the reform of the judiciary, have only been taken as a result of international pressure.
The most recent elections received largely positive comments from election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Monitors did, however, criticise some technical shortcomings and vote-buying.
A lack of legal certainty and weak public administration are constraining the country’s development. On the Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International in 2021, Albania is ranked 110th out of the 180 countries rated.
In April 2009, a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU came into force. Simultaneously, the Albanian government submitted its application to join the European Union. Once the EU’s annual progress report testified that Albania had made sufficient progress on fundamental reforms, Albania was granted EU candidate status in June 2014. In March 2020, EU ministers in charge of European affairs gave the go ahead for taking up accession negotiations with Albania
Albania entertains friendly relations with its neighbours and supports the efforts of the international community to establish common security and economic structures in the region. The country is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Since April 2009, Albania has been a member of NATO. The country has also provided troops for numerous UN peace missions.
As at: 22/06/2022