Albania has continued to make progress on its European Union reform agenda, despite some strong polarisation in the political sphere. This was one of the main findings included in the European Commission’s 2019 Report on Albania.

According to the report, Albania, which applied for EU membership 10 years ago, is moderately prepared in what concerns the reform of its public administration. Efforts continued in several related areas, resulting in some progress in the efficiency and transparency of public services delivery, improving the regulatory framework on impact assessment of policies, more transparent recruitment procedures, and the overall strengthening of the administration’s capacity to undertake merit-based civil service procedures.

Brussels noted that the consolidation of these achievements should advance further, to ensure a more efficient, depoliticised, and professional public administration.

As regards the country’s judicial system, it has some level of preparation, according to the report. Also, good progress was made in the fight against corruption.

The European Commission’s annual report also noted Albania’s progress in the fight against organised crime. For instance, police operations to dismantle criminal organisations have been intensified and have resulted in arrests.

With regard to good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, Brussels noted the country’s continued participation in regional cooperation and maintain good neighbourly relations. Important steps have been taken to address bilateral issues with Greece.

With regard to migration, some progress was made in improving the institutional capacity on border management and asylum. For instance, Albania signed the European Border and Coast Guard Status Agreement with the EU in October 2018.

As regards the transposition of EU legislation into national law books, the report noted Albania needs to continue its efforts related to its overall preparations to adopt and implement the EU acquis.