The Albanian mafia is active in the drug trade all over Europe, but the country's authorities and politicians often turn a blind eye to the problem. Corruption is still widespread in Albania, which is an official candidate for accession to the EU.
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Bulgaria's foreign minister has rejected talks over North Macedonia's entry into the EU due to open disputes between the two countries. The veto is the most recent stumbling block for North Macedonia's accession bid.
Albania and North Macedonia are at last under the European Union roof, following the go-ahead to begin accession talks. Teri Schultz visited the capitals of both countries to find out how citizens see the future.
Membership of the EU would be just as beneficial to the bloc as it would be for Albania and North Macedonia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed. Talks could begin as early as March.
EU members states have failed to agree on opening membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia. France has called for reforms to the accession process it called "inefficient."
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