By Mirela Bogdani

While will Albania sign up for the ecu? Will accession support Albania to accomplish prosperity, balance and prosperity? What components are assisting it in the direction of this finish and what elements are retaining it again? An unique examine of Albania and its family members with the european, this can be the 1st ebook to spot and examine the issues of the rustic because it strikes in the direction of club of the Union. It explores the political, monetary and social adjustments had to make Albanian club attainable. The authors spotlight the big democratic adjustments that experience happened in post-communist Albania in addition to the various hindrances that also stay. This balanced and target evaluation can be a necessary source for everybody drawn to the background and way forward for the Balkans and the ecu.

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The friendly relationship ended in 1939 when Italian forces invaded Albania and Zog fled with his family to Greece. Italians controlled Albania during most of the Second World War until November 1944, when the communist partisans led by Enver Hoxha took over the country. Economic legacy Albania had a very low socio-economic starting point in the 1990s, with a background as the poorest country in Europe, considered by some as the ‘Somalia of Europe’. Its extreme poverty was a consequence of the communist regime’s centrally planned and collectivist economy, the full collectivization of agriculture, state ownership over everything and regulation of business, abolishment of private property, all of which were a recipe for economic failure by their stifling of private initiative and an independent economic sector.

The bunkers, built into the earth like the cement-domed heads of R2D2 structures from ‘Star Wars’, were grey eyesores planted into the country’s fields, beaches and mountains, creating a siege mentality in an imaginary ‘Don Quixote’ war of defence. Albania was thus something like a surreal maverick country. When the curtains fell, however, the self-proclaimed ‘light-house of Europe’ was revealed as nothing more than a dark hell. For their part, the Western governments totally ignored this strange country and the foreign intelligence agencies ‘wiped’ Albania from their Albania in 1990: At the Crossroads between Communism and Democracy 25 plans of cold war, keeping a total indifference towards it, as if the country did not exist at all.

The LoC refers to the assimilation of norms by these actors, because they are aware that failure to do so will have adverse consequences for them, that is, there is no true assimilation. Combining this distinction with the concepts formulated by Börzel and Risse, we can see the importance of the nature of the domestic political actors and the domestic political culture for facilitating or hindering processes of 20 Albania and the European Union Europeanization. The central argument of this book is that in the Albanian case, there exist multiple veto points to the adaptation of European norms, domestic actors are driven by a logic of consequences rather than a logic of appropriateness, mainly found in the corrupt political class and their criminal connections, and that there is a political culture of conflict and division, rather than of cooperation.

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