6 May 2013
Washington D.C. ESI at Congressional Hearing on Albania
Besa Shahini. Photo: US Senate
Besa Shahini. Photo: US Senate

ESI senior analyst Besa Shahini was invited to give testimony on ESI's research on the political process in Albania prior to the elections in June.

There has always been a risk that Albanian parliamentary elections on 23 June 2013 will fall short of international standards. This would likely precipitate a major political crisis in Albania. Another result would be the loss of any credible prospect of progress towards European integration in the foreseeable future and a spiral of political, social and economic decline in Albania.

To counter this risk, ESI argues in a new paper, Red Lines for Albania. The EU and the June Parliamentary Elections (Vijat e kuqe për Shqipërinë. BE dhe zgjedhjet parlamentare të qershorit), that the international community must take a strong and uncompromising stand on the democratic principles that must be observed. It must take a non-partisan approach of strong support to the rule of law.

The following witnesses testified in the hearing:

  • Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Gilbert Galanxhi, Ambassador of Albania to the United States of America
  • Elez Biberaj, Director, Eurasia Division, Voice of America
  • Besa Shahini, Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative

Background documents


Media reactions

Besa Shahini and Elez Biberaj. Photo: US Senate
Besa Shahini and Elez Biberaj. Photo: US Senate
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Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

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Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com