The European Union (EU) is the most achievement of European states that after II World War, was approached forms of international cooperation to ending military conflicts between them. The union now represents an advanced form of cooperation between the countries with a high level organization attended and rules which are subject to most of the countries of the European continent.
The development of the European Union’s progress has had its ups and downsides. Today, the European Union is facing several crises such as: the real estate bubble in Ireland, the debt crisis in Greece, the financial crisis in Spain and Portugal, the lack of economic growth in Italy over the last decade, the rise of euro-scepticism in Poland, the challenge of the neighborhood policy in particular concerning Ukraine and Moldova too, the building of recent walls that coincides with the influx of refugees etc.
Europe is also losing its competitiveness in global markets, its population is aging rapidly. Population growth rates have fallen sharply and migration policies are being discouraged because of anti-immigration discourse.
Another challengies or problems that is affecting the EU is the dilemma between Brex’s strategy and enlargement strategy, expecially expansion with the Western Balkan countries. Since British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the idea to hold a referendum in mid-2016, the European political scene and institutions in Brussels were compounded.
The story of Britain’s EU accession (we recall 3 consecutive French vetoes of former President De Gol) were evidence of a ‘’other relationship’’ that Britain would have with the EU. The fact that Britain increasingly recognise itself as “more British or Atlanticist than European”. Within the EU, Britain stood proved to be out against two major community policies such as the EU’s common currency and free movement within the Schengen area.
At the same time, the desicion to leave the EU won by 51.9% to 48.1% (referendum held on Thursday 23 June, 2016). This decision reveals different differences in perceptions from the EU and Britain.
Analysts and EU affairs experts pose a number of questions about Britain’s future trade relations with the EU and its overseas countries, the report of thousands of EU regulations or directives that have become part of British legislation, and particularly the report of the rights of British citizens to those of the EU and vice versa.
It is worth noting that Britain is one of the 10 largest contributing states in the EU budget. In 2014/2015 Britain’s contribution to the EU was 8 billion pounds or nearly twice as much of this contribution for 2010, ranking after Germany and France.
In this complication situation (dilemma) that has sparked the June 23 referendum in Britain, the euroscepticism is mixed with the optimism that raises Western Balkan candidate countries expansion strategy. European integration continues to be the main development strategy of Albania and other Balkan countries.
The rhythm of the integration process of Albania into the European Union has had its ups and downs. In the early 1990s, Albania’s integration into the EU (then the European Community) was based on a great hope that EU integration was the path of recovery and return of Albania to its European identity. One of the strongest slogans that led the Student Movement (1991) after the fall of the communist regime was: “We want Albania like all Europe countries!”.
According to all surveys conducted in the last twenty years, resulted that 87 percent of Albanians think it is necessary that Albania should be part of the EU, despite the fact that the European Union is not spending its best days.
European integration for Albanians is seen as the only hope or chance to win the lost time from communism, to gain the denied historical right and to lay the foundations for a stronger, more developed and secure nation for all Albanians.
But the integration process should be understood as a step-by-step process whereby the progress achieved in each step will enable closer access to the criteria and standards required by the EU.
During this process, Albania must undertake the required reforms, such as the fight against corruption and organized crime, judicial system reform, public administration reform, roma human rights and discrimination against LGBT community, which will enable participation its reforms in the integration process, which will increase confidence in the Albanian economy and its political system, as has been demonstrated by the fact that many countries have benefited from European integration.
After receipt of candidate country status in 2014, the efforts of Albanian institutions have been focused on meeting the conditions for the next phase: the opening of membership talks.
Public administration reform, justice system reform, the fight against corruption and organized crime, and the protection of human rights are the areas in which Albania have to work towards progress.
While in most of these areas, the European Commission has evaluated satisfactory performance in the latest country report, justice system reform has been blocked for almost two years, making up the key condition of this process.
As we see, Albania is heading a long way towards full membership in the European Union, but the country has increased efforts in many areas to reach European standards and strengthen democratic institutions as a prerequisite for European integration.
Supported by the European integration process, development and unity is the best and lasting solution for Western Balkan countries to no longer be the countries of origin of economic emigrants but countries of origin of peace and prosperity, reducing conflicts, unemployment and poverty, which feed migrant flows.
Combining more with the rule of law, economic governance, public administration reform, the fight against corruption and organized crime, the fight against extremism and religious radicalism, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms, all of them contributes to increasing stability and prosperity in any country of the European Union.
Therefore, enlargement is an integral part of the very existence of this project and wherefore its blocking would lead to a blockade of integration as a whole.