Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers voted yesterday in favor of Albania's request for official candidate status, following a similar vote by the 27 EU ambassadors at a meeting in Brussels last week. Next, the European Commission must decide whether Albania is ready to begin membership talks. Some of the concerns to be addressed are corruption, drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering, as well as the need for a more independent judiciary and freedom of the press. Membership negotiations are likely to take several years and will require substantial economic and political reforms.