International Relations

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009, and was among the first Eastern European countries to join. NATO’s mission is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. NATO is in support of democratic values and peaceful resolution of disputes, with available military support if necessary.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) / World Bank Loan

In 2014 the IMF agreed to provide a € 331 million loan over 3 years to support Albania’s economic reforms, and cover existing public debt. With this loan the IMF aims to improve fiscal sustainability by strengthening public financial management to address arrears and reform tax, pension and industrial policies to support macro-fiscal stability.

Albania has signed two budget support loans worth a total of €162 million with the World Bank which is aimed to help balance their budget, and support the government’s tax, pensions and industrial energy reforms. The country has also signed a loan agreement for a $10 million USD Environment Services Project. This will support sustainable land management with a goal of increasing communities’ incomes in the erosion prone rural upland areas.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Albania became the 138th member of the WTO in 2000. Since their accession to the organization, Albania has implemented several reforms and commitments focused on opening markets to trade, improving its business environment and maintaining a stable economy, to align with the WTO mandate. These reforms have been a major accomplishment for Albania and have helped move them towards European integration.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is run by its member governments and all of its major decisions are made by the membership as a whole either by misters, their ambassadors or delegates. They deal with trade negotiations, implementation and monitoring, dispute settlements, building trade capacity and outreach initiatives. 

EU Candidacy

As of June 24th, 2014 Albania gained EU candidate status.

There are several factors the European Union considers when determining EU candidacy. According to Europa.eu (the official website of the European Union) these include:

Political

  • Stability
  • Human rights
  • Law enforcement

Economic

  • Viable market economy
  • Ability to respond to pressure of competition and market forces within the EU

Ability to assume obligations of a Member State

  • Includes the Unions political, economic and monetary aims

Integration

  • Adapting administrative structures to create conditions for integration

EU candidacy is a key step for the country, reflecting the progress Albania has made towards European integration and implementing necessary reforms with a key focus continued on administration and judiciary reform, fight against corruption and organised crime, and fundamental rights.

TAP Pipeline

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is an 867 kilometer gas pipeline that will bring natural gas from the Caspian region through Northern Greece, Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to the Italian coast to secure and diversity the EU’s energy supply. The Albanian portion of this pipeline corridor will cross the northern end of the Patos-Marinza oilfield. Construction on the pipeline is set to begin in 2016 and commence operation in late 2019. 

The TAP project will have a positive economic impact on the country by bringing a large sum of foreign investment, employment opportunities, procurement, and landowner compensation. TAP will connect Albania to Europe’s energy grid, allowing it to further integrate with other EU countries. This project helps support a sustainable market economy, and moves Albania along the right path towards EU membership.

In addition to these benefits, Albania is also in negotiation with the commissioning group for off take natural gas. If the Albanians reach an agreement, this may allow Bankers access to gas to use within our operations to reduce energy cost and potential use in a future thermal pilot project and development.

The pipeline project is supported by a group of company’s comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%)

Source: http://www.tap-ag.com/

Albanian Square
On June 24th, 2014 Albania gained EU candidate status