Albania is currently a potential candidate for EU membership. It has signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, which entered into force on January 4, 2009. Albania submitted its application for membership to the Council on April 28, 2009l. On May 27, 2010 the European Commission proposed visa-free travel for the citizens of Albania, an important step towards EU integration. The proposal (memo/10/218) will enable Albanian citizens to travel to Schengen countries without a short-term visa.
In November, 2010, the Commission recomended that Albanian citizens be granted visa-free travel to EU member states, since the Albanian government suceeded in meeting the necessary conditions. However, the Commission did not recommend that Albania become an official Candidate, primarily for not meeting political and democratic standards.
A timeline of key dates for Albania's accession to the EU can be found at:
The European Commission periodically publishes an evaluation of Albania's progress toward accession. The report includes analysis of the current political and economic status of the country and outlines the areas in which the Albanian government needs to focus on reform. Read the Commission's 2010 Progress Report for Albania here:
Based on the Commission's reports and assessments, the European Council makes Decisions on a country's progress towards membership. The most recent decision can be found here: eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do
The EU has sent a Delegation to Albania. Information on the activities of this office can be found here: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/albania/index_en.htm