Albania and the European Union: The Tumultuous Journey by Mirela Bogdani

By Mirela Bogdani

While will Albania sign up for the ecu? Will accession support Albania to accomplish prosperity, balance and prosperity? What elements are aiding it in the direction of this finish and what components are keeping it again? An unique examine of Albania and its relatives with the ecu, this can be the 1st publication to spot and examine the issues of the rustic because it strikes in the direction of club of the Union. It explores the political, fiscal and social differences had to make Albanian club attainable. The authors spotlight the large democratic alterations that experience happened in post-communist Albania in addition to the numerous hindrances that also stay. This balanced and aim evaluation could be a necessary source for everybody attracted to the heritage and way forward for the Balkans and the ecu.

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This is especially important today when Europe is trying to encouage moderate expressions of Islam within its boundaries to confront the threat of Islamic terrorism. However, geographical, historic, cultural and religious factors are not enough for a country to be ‘eligible’ to be part of this respectable club called the EU. ’ (Zenit News Agency, 2005). Albanian history can reach back to the period before the Ottoman conquest and Islamization, to when it shared this common Greco-Roman and Christian culture with Western Europe and which gave birth to the values to which Pope Benedict XVI is referring.

Instead, the four decades of communist rule, mostly under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, who turned the state into something like a family enterprise, reinforced socioeconomic and political backwardness. The years after Second World War came to be called ‘the time of liberation’, but they turned out to be just the opposite for Albanians. For 50 years this grotesque and paranoid regime created political, economic and social asymmetries between Albania and the rest of Europe. Albania’s historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire, as well as communism, has been important factors in hindering its successful transition to a modern liberal democracy.

This started with protests and demonstrations and culminated with the historic hunger strike in February 1991 and the toppling of Enver Hoxha’s monument in the main square of Tirana. Following the students’ movement were mass street demonstrations and protests in Tirana and other cities and, in 1991, a nation-wide strike of workers. Those who initiated the overthrow of communism in Albania were, therefore, not established and well-known intellectuals as in the other CEE countries, but students and the young, who were the first to ask for political pluralism and the removal of communist symbols, and later on workers and the trade unions, all of whom appeared brave enough for an open confrontation with the government.

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