The EU Integration Process and its Role in the Albanian Sociopolitical Transformation





Nearly  thirty  years  after  the  fall  of  communism  in  Albania,  European  integration  has  been  the  main driving force for change and the real catalyst for reform. Today, a vast majority of Albanians continue to be convinced that the only way to develop, modernize and guarantee security is a full integration into the European family. The problem is not simply the duration of such an intermediate phase between obtaining candidate status and a full membership of the European Union. In fact, Albanians  themselves  are  increasingly  aware  that  the  road  to  full  membership  of  the  European  Union will be long, and that it will require a series of major and profound changes in the country, especially in the areas of the rule of law and functioning of institutions, along with implementing various standards that a society must meet in order to achieve this goal. The aim of this paper is to analyze Albanian use and abuse of the EU integration process in internal political discourse, reforms and  transformation.  A  number  of  documents,  publications  and  public  speeches  are  examined  in  order to evaluate the impact of integration in this small, developing, post-communist country.