Albania – along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in June 2003.
In 2009, Albania submitted its formal application for EU membership. In its Opinion on Albania's application (in 2010), the Commission assessed that before accession negotiations could be formally opened, Albania still had to achieve a necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria and in particular to meet the 12 key priorities identified in the Opinion.
In October 2012, Commission recommended that Albania be granted EU candidate status, subject to completion of key measures in the areas of judicial and public administration reform and revision of the parliamentary rules of procedures.
In June 2014, Albania was awarded candidate status by the EU.
In April 2018, the Commission issued an unconditional recommendation to open accession negotiations. In its June 2018 Conclusions, the Council set out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019, depending on progress made in key areas such as the judiciary, fight against corruption and organised crime, intelligence services and public administration. The Commission reiterated the recommendation to open accession talks in the Enlargement Package adopted in May 2019. In its June 2019 Conclusions, the Council took good note of the Commission's recommendation. In March 2020 the members of the European Council endorsed the General Affairs Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and in July 2020 the draft negotiating framework were presented to the Member States. In July 2022, the Intergovernmental Conference on accession negotiations was held with Albania. The Commission started the screening process.
More information on the country's relations with the EU
Factsheets and Factographs available to download:
- 03-2023Final bilateral screening meeting on cluster 2 “Internal market”
- 01-2023Final bilateral screening meeting on cluster 1 “fundamentals”
- 10-2022First explanatory screening meeting on Cluster 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth
- 10-2022First explanatory screening meeting on Cluster 2 – Internal market
- 09-2022First explanatory screening meeting on Cluster 1 – Fundamentals
- 07-2022Inaugural meeting of the screening process
- 07-2022Intergovernmental Conference on accession negotiations with Albania.
- 05-2021Commission informs Council that Albania has met the remaining condition to be fulfilled prior to the holding of the first Inter-Governmental Conferenc
- 10-2020Commission adopts an Economic & Investment Plan to support and bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU.
- 07-2020Presentation of the draft negotiating framework to the Member States.
- 25-03-2020The Council decides to open accession negotiations.
- 02-2020Revised methodology
Revised methodology, presented by the Commission, to drive forward the enlargement process with a stronger political steer and in a more credible, predictable, dynamic way.
- 05-2019The European Commission recommends opening accession negotiations.
- 01-06-2018The Council sets out the path towards opening accession negotiations.
- 01-04-2018The Commission repeats its unconditional recommendation to open accession negotiations.
- 27-06-2014The Council granted the candidate status to Albania in June 2014.
- 12-11-2013The EU and Albania hold the first meeting of the High Level Dialogue on Key Priorities.
- 10-10-2012European Commission recommends that Albania be granted EU candidate status, subject to completion of key measures in certain areas.
- 01-02-2011An action plan addressing the 12 key priorities identified in the European Commission opinion is adopted by Albania.
- 15-12-2010Visa free regime for Schengen area introduced for all Albanian citizens having a biometric passport.
- 09-11-2010European Commission delivers opinion on Albania's EU membership application.
- 24-04-2009Albania submits its application for EU membership.
- 01-04-2009Stabilisation and association agreement enters into force.
- 01-01-2008EU-Albania visa facilitation agreement enters into force.
- 01-01-2007IPA funds available to help Albania prepare for membership.
- 01-12-2006Interim agreement enters into force.
- 12-06-2006Stabilisation and Association Agreement and Interim Agreement is signed.
- 01-05-2006EU-Albania Readmission Agreement enters into force.
- 01-06-2004Council adopts European partnership with Albania.