The European Union should accept Albania. Albania would benefit the EU and the EU would benefit Albania. Albania had a Communist Regime for 40 years, and that has caused a lot of setbacks and backwardness, so many aspects would need fundamental improvement. The acceptance of Albania in the EU on one hand would benefit Albania’s economy and politics, while on the other hand Albania would help the EU accomplish its goals of promoting peace, political stability, economic prosperity and cooperation in the Balkans.
Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe due to it’s unfortunate communist past that isolated the country for almost half a century. As such Albania needs economic support and integration into an economic institutional and political alliance to speed up pace of progress. The EU has already assisted Albania over the past 25 years to overcome economic difficulties, reform its institutions, and build up a system that respects human rights, economic freedoms, and allows for private initiative to flourish and benefit the society as a whole. Accession into a more advanced economical area promoting trade, movement, and capital would definitely benefit a country like Albania to improve living standards for all citizens. The examples of former communist countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia have shown that the process of accession and accession itself helps massively towards building a more stable and prosperous economy. “After joining the European Union in 2007, Bulgaria registered a peak in foreign investment of about 6 bln euro (wikipedia, 2017)”. For instance this is just a small example of how the economy of a poor country benefits in the process of joining the EU. Such benefits are a result of vast improvements that European Union introduced in candidate countries through economic assistance, transfer of know-how, support for market institutions and cooperation among all members. Therefore the benefits for Albania are expected to be significant as Albania has showed a lot of potential due to its enthusiastic young labor force better management of natural and economic resources, and efforts to model its institutions after the EU best examples. With the EU’s presence for 25 years Albania’s GDP has grown by 6 billion, with the accession in the EU the GDP can grow even more as it grew in Bulgaria and other countries with a communist past that got accession in the EU.
As Albania has been isolated for over 40 years coming out of the communist system its institutions and politics are still suffering a great deal of over politicization, lack of independence, and very often corruption. With the accession in the EU, these institutions would benefit from models from the EU best practices. These best practices would also affect the judiciary and administration. As these institutions will gradually integrate into the EU system with the EU legislation becoming mandatory as well. “Albania has actually signed the stabilization and association agreement and its framework has already provided the basis for deeper exchanges and assistance which has positively affected the performance of such institutions in the past 15 years (Nako, former EU integration minister).”
EU would also benefit from Albania’s accession. Albania has an important role to play in the region where ethnic Albanians are citizens of several states, and Albania’s positive influence can help stabilize relations in a region with a lot of tension due to ethnic tensions, and the dissolutions of former Yugoslavia. The example of Germany and France, bitter rivals for hundreds of years that drew Europe into bloody wars, that today are the pillars of stability in the EU that provides a great platform for neutral cooperation and to overcome disputes of any kind. By analogy if EU accepts the countries of the region including Albania it would make a great contribution to lower tensions that have been ongoing for many years, and that have had an impact on EU and its citizens as well. Also by including these countries in the region, it would benefit from an enthusiastic youth and labor force that would help expand its market.
The EU should speed up their negotiations with Albania for the status of membership. I call the EU to action to make this process as smooth and fast as possible, for the fact that membership of the country of Albania would be beneficial for both sides. The EU and Albania should cooperate with each other to reach these common goals. Albania needs to improve their economy, enforce some laws and policies in their government, and improve the political system. While the EU needs Albania for their integration system, and because it would help them become more present in the region. Albania’s acceptance in the European Union should come as soon as possible.