European Integration Process: Where is Albania?
Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 2013, MCSER Publishing-Rome, Italy
12 Pages Posted: 10 May 2014
Date Written: October 2013
The European integration process has, for more than two decades, represented a vital issue for Albania. This process has been evolving gradually and Albania is currently working towards receiving ‘candidate country’ status, subject to the fulfillment of key measures identified in the 2012 Albania Progress Report. This latest assessment is being carried out primarily according to the Copenhagen criteria: economic, political and acquis communautaire, those important for EU membership. Upon fulfillment and granting of candidate status, the next steps would be EMU and introduction of the euro. This is related to the Maastricht criteria fulfillment (convergence criteria) and would entail the following: price stability, exchange rate stability, fiscal criteria and long-term interest rate criteria. The main purpose of this paper is to consider how Albanian macroeconomic indicators comply with Maastricht criteria, and also to assess whether these indicators are methodologically harmonized and thus comparable to those of EU members. The paper also indicates the areas where progress is still needed in order to attain a favorable starting position for ERM II participation (after joining the EU).
Keywords: Albania, EU, convergence criteria, inflation criteria, ERM II
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