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EU candidate status for Albania

EU News 282/2014

Brussels, 24 June 2014

At the General Affairs Council meeting today in Luxembourg, Ministers from the EU Member States have agreed – based on the recommendation by the European Commission (see report) to grant EU candidate status to Albania, subject to endorsement by EU heads of states at the forthcoming European Council on Friday in Brussels. This is a clear step forward in EU-Albania relations, reflecting the progress the country has made in European integration and in implementing the necessary reforms. Today's decision underlines the EU's continued and credible commitment to support Albania in its efforts towards this goal.

For Albania, today’s decision should translate into a strengthened endorsement of its reform agenda: Albania still needs to meet key priorities, with particular focus on administration and judiciary reform, fight against corruption and organised crime and fundamental rights, as highlighted in the Council Conclusions of December 2013 Moreover, a constructive and sustainable political dialogue will remain essential to consolidate and continue reforms.

Candidate status does not mean that the EU will automatically start accession negotiations with Albania, which is a subsequent, separate step in the EU integration process, for which additional progress, in the key priorities, is required.

Source and additional information:

File Photo: 2013: Štefan Füle during the presentation of the conclusions and recommendations for Albania. Date: 16/10/2013 Reference: P-024150/00-38 Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont (C)EU, 2013 URL