EU accession talks with Albania likely, despite misgivings

Albania is under severe pressure from Brussels and Washington to improve its long-frozen relations with Serbia and Greece before the EU admission talks (source: macpixxel for GIS)
Albania is under severe pressure from Brussels and Washington to improve its long-frozen relations with Serbia and Greece before the EU admission talks (source: macpixxel for GIS)

A pro-American NATO member, a Western ally in the war against Daesh and a European Union candidate state, Albania faces a game-changing year in 2016. With its accession talks with Brussels expected to start in 2017, the Balkan country has come under intense pressure from outside to reform its institutions and resolve a handful of seemingly intractable problems with neighbors.

The stakes in the region, however, have become so high for the EU and NATO that the odds favor a positive outcome for Tirana, even if it comes shy of meeting all preconditions for admission.

One set of obstacles faced by Albania is internal: rampant corruption and w...

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