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
On February 2017, Albania successfully concluded its three-year program aimed at restoring economic growth and controlling the rapidly rising public debt that had threatened the stability of the economy.
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 ministers, their ambassadors or delegates. They deal with trade negotiations, implementation and monitoring, dispute settlements, building trade capacity and outreach initiatives.
As of June 24th, 2014 Albania gained EU candidate status and on June 2019, Albania is expecting to receive the EU Council decision on the opening of the EU accession negotiations.
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:
- Human rights
- Law enforcement
- Viable market economy
- Ability to respond to pressure of competition and market forces within the EU