About: Albania

Enlargement 26-11-2021

Burned by Bulgaria veto, North Macedonia to ‘act more carefully’ on EU integration narrative, justice minister says

Partially attributing his party’s crushing defeat in the recent municipal elections to the stalling EU accession negotiations, North Macedonia’s justice minister Bojan Marichikj told EURACTIV the government in Skopje would be more careful in the future. The stand-off between Bulgaria...
Global Europe 15-11-2021

Rural Balkan communities fight back, and win, against hydropower plants

As Europe embarks on a rocky transition to renewable energy, Albania, where hydropower produces almost 100% of electricity, is facing its own issues. Communities impacted by the building of hydroelectric dams are fighting back, and they are winning.
08-11-2021

Why Europe’s East does not trust the COVID-19 vaccine

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, an ever-growing divide between Western and Eastern Europe in terms of vaccination uptake becomes more apparent. But what's driving it?
Health 26-10-2021

Concerns over COVID-19 fatality and cases figures in Albania

A combination of recently published data and surveys has cast doubt over the Albanian government’s level of transparency in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Concerns relate to the possible under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths and positive cases since the start of the pandemic.
Global Europe 25-10-2021

Despite calls, Albania remains reluctant to find its 6,000 missing communism victims

Nazmi Uruci's descendants have been searching for his remains for almost 80 years. Born in northern Albania in 1904, Nazmi was a customs official during the short reign of Albania's first and last reigning monarch, King Zog.
Global Europe 13-10-2021

Albania’s declining media freedom won’t impact EU accession

The European Commission has said it will not require Albania to withdraw plans for a controversial law that would bring all online media under state supervision in order to open EU accession negotiations.
Global Europe 11-10-2021

EU hopeful Albania struggles with its own asylum seekers

Albania has a problem with asylum. Between 2010 and 2019, more than 193,000 Albanians applied for asylum in the European Union, a significant portion of the EU candidate country's population of 2.8 million.
Enlargement 29-09-2021

EU no longer agrees on Balkan membership guarantee, diplomats say

The European Union, fearing a political backlash in member states, can no longer agree to give a guarantee of future membership to the six Balkan countries once promised a place in the club, according to four diplomats and an internal...
Global Europe 27-09-2021

Albanian prime minister criticises Serbia’s ‘theatrics’ in Kosovo

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama voiced support on Monday (27 September) for Kosovo’s decision to require Serbian vehicles entering its territory to display temporary Kosovo plates, a move that has sparked fresh tensions in the region and prompted international calls for a swift de-escalation.
Coronavirus 24-09-2021

Albanian parliament agrees on mandating vaccines for ministers

Albanian Parliament voted yesterday in favour of mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all parliamentarians in hopes of encouraging vaccine uptake.
Enlargement 16-08-2021

Albania, Kosovo say ready to temporarily house Afghan refugees

Albania and Kosovo have accepted a US request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday (15 August).
Enlargement 15-07-2021

Political scientists say EU has lost the battle for the Balkans

The EU has lost the battle for the Balkans, where Russia and China are offering bonuses without asking for reforms, geopolitical experts told an online conference organised by EURACTIV.bg this week, proposing increased cooperation and a Balkan common market as the best way forward.
Enlargement 18-05-2021

The EU should resist moves to halt Balkan enlargement

EU enlargement to the Western Balkans has been marked by continued roadblocks and unjustified delays. The region's window of opportunity might close soon, another delay could deal a death blow to the enlargement process altogether and that is why the EU should not ignore Albania’s progress, writes Akri Çipa.
Digital & Media 12-05-2021

Media freedom in the Western Balkans is a geopolitical issue

The decline in media freedom in the Balkans is eroding the European values of democracy and rule of law and creating a climate ripe for disinformation that is cultivating anti-EU and anti-western sentiment across the region, writes Peter Horrocks.
Enlargement 11-05-2021

Albania has voted – will it be a new momentum for its EU path?

Pressed by major challenges such as endemic corruption, brain drain and economic hurdles, Albania needs a strong and stable political establishment that will push for an ambitious reform agenda. The latest elections provide hope, but much work lies ahead, write Tobias Rüttershoff and Teona Lavrelashvili.
Enlargement 26-04-2021

Albania parties at loggerheads after hard-fought election

Albania's opposition claimed victory after a parliamentary election on Sunday (25 April) seen as crucial to the country's dreams of EU membership, but the ruling party said it was too soon to call a result.
Enlargement 11-03-2021

Bring Western Balkans back on the agenda, urge nine EU member states

Nine EU member states have called on the EU’s chief diplomat, Joseph Borrell, to have a strategic discussion on the Western Balkan countries and their prospects when EU foreign ministers meet in April, according to a letter made available to...
Enlargement 05-02-2021

Majority of French still against Balkans’ EU integration

Some 59% of French citizens do not see the prospect of the Western Balkans countries' EU accession in a positive light, a new study has found. But it also revealed increasing mistrust toward the bloc overall.
Enlargement 07-01-2021

EU enlargement in 2021: Moribund or revenant?

In the Western Balkans, where all EU applicant countries (bar Turkey) are located, the year ahead will be dominated by Europe's quest for a vaccine and efforts to restart the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 
Azerbaijan 07-12-2020

Commission welcomes arrival of ‘Caspian gas’ to EU countries

The European Commission welcomed on Friday (4 December) the start of the operations of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the last stretch of the Southern gas corridor, thanks to which gas pumped from the Shah Deniz offshore gas field in Azerbaijan started reaching Italy.
Enlargement 18-11-2020

Bulgaria spells out conditions for unblocking North Macedonia’s EU path

Bulgaria vetoed the decision to open EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia on Tuesday (17 November), a move which indirectly also affects Albania, another Western Balkans candidate which has advanced on its EU path in tandem with Skopje.
Enlargement 06-10-2020

Commission seeks to revive enlargement with new package

The European Commission published its long-awaited enlargement package on Tuesday (6 October) in a fresh attempt to revive the stalled process with promises of more substantial economic assistance in exchange for reforms. The package included country-specific reports on the progress of the six Western Balkans countries and Turkey.
Enlargement 06-10-2020

Activists win battle, not war, against hydropower in the Western Balkans

Green lawmakers have hailed the cancellation of a hydropower plant in Albania but now fear that a forthcoming EU investment package for the wider region will promote small hydropower, which activists blame for destroying ecosystems.
Enlargement 02-06-2020

Várhelyi: EU hopefuls to conform to bloc’s electoral expectations

Parties in Albania need to deliver a 'crucial' agreement on electoral reform, while North Macedonia's vote must leave sufficient time and possibilities for campaigning, the EU's enlargement chief Olivér Várhelyi said on Tuesday (2 June), outlining the priorities for the two EU hopefuls before accession talks can start.