Albania receives EU candidate status

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European Commission to recommend granting Albania the status of candidate to join the European Union Wednesday, said an official who spoke to reporters in Brussels on condition of anonymity.

A significant step forward for Albania, and helped by the fact that parliamentary elections earlier this year were free and fair, and passed off with relatively little violence, while the transition of power was relatively smooth. This will provide a continued anchor for reform and development going forward – albeit as as proven the case with Turkey, candidate member status does no longer necessarily means a shoe in for membership. It will still be a long haul for Albania, i.e. 10+ years, but at least the course is now clearly set.