International Relations in the Contemporary World. Geopolitics and Diplomacy
International Relations in the Contemporary World.
Geopolitics and Diplomacy
Albania-EU Relationship and the
Course towards the European Integration
Abstract: The collapse of the communist regime in Albania made possible the country’s opening to the west,
a country that had chosen the way of total isolation. Albania was the first country in the Balkans region who
signed a commercial agreement in 1992 with the European Union. This article aims to study Albania's path
towards European integration. The position and role p layed by the European Union during that critical period
for our country, as the crisis of 1997. The objective of this paper is to create a clear panorama of relationships
between the EU and Albania and to highlight the problems that have come across over the years. The author
of this paper will also provide an overview of th e political developments in Albania after the signi ng of the
Stabilization and Association Agreement. The method of operation is qualitative. This paper was
accomplished through a bibliographic research, drawing on the European Union legislation, the agreements
signed between the two countries and also the strategies of the Albanian government during these years.
Keywords: The European integration; SAA; diplomatic relations; development
Albania reappeared on the international scene, immediately after the fall of dictatorships and the
collapse of communist regime in Tirana. It has succeeded against a dictatorship that was known for its
hardness and leaving the country in total darkness, but this instantaneous variation, caused
considerable civil disturbances. The communist regime in Albania was one of the longest regimes in
the Western Balkans and also one of the most regressive countries of Eastern Europe, not only in the
economic viewpoint but also in the social areas.
But we cannot agree that this has been the biggest challenge of the Albanian society. The biggest
problem was of a political nature, where the efforts and authoritarian ways of the Albanian political
class resulted in an extremely poor dialogue between the main political parties. One of the
characteristics of contemporary political life in the country is the way that Albanian politicians tend to
inhibit the normal development of the post-election policy, rejecting the election results, when they are
on the losing side.
The first diplomatic relationships between Albania and the European Community began in 1991,
immediately after the fall of the communist regime. Until that time, the forced division of Europe was
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences SHPAL Pavaresia Vlore, Albania, Address:
Bulevardi Vlorë-Skele PO. Box 4358 Posta Vlorë AL-9401 Vlorë. Albania, Corresponding author: