Tirana. Photo: The World Bank/Flore de Préneuf
Tirana. Photo: The World Bank/Flore de Préneuf

This section offers close to 80 key texts and background documents related to Albania's EU accession process. Key documents on the EU's enlargement process in general can be found in ESI's background document library on EU enlargement.


Contractual Relations

The major accession process agreements between Albania and the EU:


Key European Council conclusions

The European Council, the highest decision making body of the EU, takes key decisions with regard to EU enlargement. In November 2009, the Council took the hitherto most important decision on Albania's EU accession, asking the European Commission to prepare an opinion on Albania's application for membership.

  • Brussels European Council 2973rd General Affairs meeting conclusions inviting the European Commission to prepare its opinion on Albania's application for EU membership (16 November 2009).


Key documents prepared by the Albanian government

Following the European Council's decision to invite the European Commission to prepare an opinion on Albania's membership application, the Commission provided the Albanian government with a 384-page questionnaire in December 2009. The government delivered its answers to 2280 questions on 14 April 2010.

In its opinion, adopted on 9 November 2010, the Commission stated that Albania was not yet ready to start accession negotiations and refrained from proposing to grant it candidate status, a measure it proposed on the same day for neighbouring Montenegro.

A number of strategic documents inform the Albanian government's current efforts to move closer to EU accession (reverse chronological order):


Pre-accession funds

In the EU's 2007-2013 budget cycle all pre-accession programmes were merged into a single mechanism, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The IPA has five components. Potential candidate countries like Albania can only benefit from two of them – general capacity building and cross border cooperation. All five components – the others include regional development, human resources development and rural development – concern only candidate countries.

EC support was previously channelled mainly through the CARDS programme, designed for the Western Balkans in 2000.


For the multi-annual indicative financial frameworks, including information and financial data on all recipient countries, visit the respective section of ESI's background document library on EU enlargement.

You can find more documents on the two IPA components here in the Albania section of the webpage of DG Enlargement.


Other programmes and project fiches for the Transition Assistance and Institution Building component can be accessed on the website of DG Enlargement.


Other programmes under the Cross-Border Co-operation component can be found here.

For the European Commission's annual reports on all EU pre-accession funds, click here.


In 2000, various EU assistance programmes for the Western Balkans were streamlined into the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) programme. CARDS was designed to support the Stabilisation and Association process.


EU monitoring reports

All official Commission reports on Albania prepared by DG Enlargement:


Key EU strategy documents

Since 2005 Albania and all other candidate / potential candidate countries have been included in the European Commission's annual strategy paper on EU Enlargement.