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.
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.
Two decades of European Union policy in the Western Balkans fell apart in 2019. The new year could reveal just how bad the diplomatic damage is.
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."
EU leaders have failed to agree to initiate accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia at the bloc's summit. Thursday's session, dominated by Brexit, dragged out, with France leading objections to their entry.
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