Why “Yes” and Why “Not” Can Albania Be Europeanized. Actors and Factors

  • Abstract:

    Europeanization is indispensable for the state and democracy’s survival in Albania. As a process that promotes and fosters democracy, Europeanization requires conformity with conditions for European Union (EU) membership. For the third time(2010, 2011, 2013), Albanians’ dream to become part of the European family, not only geographically, failed to do so. In December 2013, the Dutch parliament’s decision with a majority of vote of the VVD party (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy)obliged the Dutch government to prevent the EC to vote EU candidate status for Albania. While exploring the recent past, the violent domestic political developments of January 2011, and the disability of the political elite to manage the local election process in May 2011, put a question mark on the promptness of Albania, a NATO member, to join EU on 2011. On the other hand, in 2013 the assessment of the Commission was that Albania’s delivery to the EU merits candidate status. These dichotomies lead to a question: Why ‘yes’ and why ’not` can Albania be Europeanized? This paper seeks the answer by identifying and analyzing the actors and factors that errand the process of Europeanization in the country. Hence, while the net advantages of EU membership have an important systemic impact on the international and domestic performance of Albania, Europeanization associates with major problems in the country. Also this paper points out that international European stakeholders have to consider the state and social culture of the Albanian society and mediate to accomplish the European process in the country, since sometimes one size does not fit to all. A Europeanized Albania represents a strategic necessity for the EU not only because of geographic situation, but also because of the security and economic impact in the future of the Western Balkans (WB), and the latter impact in the Union geo-area.