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European Union: Albania’s Progress on Candidacy for Membership

(Nov. 20, 2009) In April 2009, Albania, following its admission to NATO, immediately applied to join the EU. On November 16, 2009, the foreign ministers of the European Union Member States approved Albania's request to officially become a candidate country. The next step in the process of Albania achieving candidate status lies with the European Commission, which will review whether the country is ready to begin discussions. In a previous assessment that took place in 2008, the Commission stated that Albania does not measure up to the standards of other European states, especially in the areas of fighting corruption and establishing an independent judiciary. It also noted that Albania had made little progress in combating organized crime, money laundering, and drug trafficking. (Leigh Phillips, Ministers Give Nod to Albania's EU Application, EU OBSERVER, Nov. 17, 2009, available at