The Council has authorised the Commission to
open negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement
The External Relations Council of 21 October also called on
Albania to take the necessary measures to build up the
capacities required to implement the agreement. Among the
reforms required by the EU are implementation of the rule
of law, securing a stable supply of energy and boosting
domestic investment and job creation.
The EU expects that negotiations with
Albania could start before the end of this year.
The EU already has Stabilisation and
Association Agreements with two Balkan countries – Croatia
and Macedonia. However, EU relations with Croatia have been
stalled due to the country’s refusal to co-operate with the
United Nations Tribunal for war crimes in the former
Yugoslavia. Britain has delayed its ratificiation of the EU
agreement with Croatia until the country hands over a
high-profile war crimes suspect, General Bobetko.
The Stability and Association Agreement
gives the Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro) the
long term perspective of EU membership.