Albania was recognised as a potential candidate country for EU accession in 2003 and officially submitted a membership application in April 2009.
Several agreements ensure close collaboration between the EU and Albania. A European partnership with Albania provides support to the Albanian authorities in their quest for EU membership by identifying areas in which further effort and reforms are required.
A Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) entered into force on 1 April 2009, laying out the conditions for membership.
Short stays in the EU became easier in 2008 with the entry into force of a visa facilitation agreement .