At a General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on 24 June, the Council granted Albania EU candidacy status. The decision came into effect after formal endorsement by the European Council on 27 June. The Council congratulated Albania and at the same time urged it to continue dialogue with the Commission and mainly to carry on with the needed reforms. According to the Council, Albania needs to work very hard on fighting corruption and organized crime, on the overall status of the rule-of-law and legal certainty and must reform its public administration. Minority rights need to be strengthened also. Concerning possible visa facilitation in the future, the Council urged Albania to make real efforts on reducing the migration and asylum pressure of its nationals on the EU.
Albania became recognized as possible future EU member in 2003. In 2009 Stabilisation and Association Agreement came into force and Albania submitted a formal membership application. In October 2013 and again in June 2014 the Commission recommended that candidacy status be granted to Albania. The candidacy, however, does not mean automatically opening of accession talks, which is a separate process.
2nd May 2018