Albania: the long road to Brussels

The “Country of the Eagle", a potential candidate since 2003, still can't rustle up sufficient resources to make it into Europe. 

An Albanian worker is seen in a building under construction in central Tirana November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Arben Celi

After 11 years of hope and disappointment, after being officially recognised as a potential candidate in 2003, Albania was granted accession candidate status in June 2014. a status that it had been denied 4 times between 2010 and 2013 owing to reservations raised by several EU Member states, including France and the United Kingdom. the “nos” were mainly due to Albania’s political instability and polarisation, which led to violent protests in 2011, after the opposition accused the incoming government of electoral fraud. With the 2013 elections, won by the socialist Party headed by Tirana's former opposition mayor Edi Rama, the situation appears to have stabilised. “June 2014 was a very important moment for Albania", says Davide Sighele, a journalist with the Observatory on the Balkans and Caucasus. 

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