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Albania: EU hopes dashed, Albania cheered by economy

Candidacy status next year; Tax and graft reforms pay dividends

Albania has suffered a blow to its European Union membership ambitions but the country’s prime minister still believes it has a bright future given its business-friendly environment.

Hopes of Albania joining the EU in the near future were dashed in November when the European Commission rejected its candidacy after it failed to meet the Copenhagen criteria on political development. EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Füle did, however, say that he hoped that the EU would be able to recommend Albania for membership candidacy status next year.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha had earlier told Euromoney that the EU’s decision to ease travel restrictions was one of the most positive developments for Albania since the fall of the Iron Curtain and would help further increase the country’s socio-economic integration into the EU

"Albania is totally committed to pursuing membership of the EU"

Sali Berisha

The EU’s decision took the shine off the recent good news that Albanian citizens will enjoy visa-free travel to the EU’s Schengen Agreement countries from later this year and the fact that the country’s debut Eurobond received a warm reception from investors.

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