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Will Albania fail again to join the EU?

Dr. Ana L. Scheer

On April 11th, the majority of Parliament of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, upon request of the three parliamentary groups: the Christian Democratic Party, the Socialist Party and the Liberal Party, voted for the proposal of the reinstatement of visas for Albanian citizens due to the growing criminality as well as the increase of the illegal emigration in Holland.

Yesterday, on April 17th, the Parliament of the Netherlands voted in favor of the reinstatement of visas for Albania proceeding with the formal request for the approval of the EU institution to implement such a decision. This came as a big blow for Albania’s government which most likely will face another refusal from Brussels on the invitation of opening the negotiations for the EU membership.

Whilst there has been no official response by the Albanian government on this decision, the opposition and the Albanian political spectrum was quick to blame premier Edi Rama and his government for this grievous action by the Parliament of the Netherlands.

“This is a harsh punishment for Albania!” declared former prime minister Sali Berisha. “It is because of Edi Rama, his corrupt government which is involved into the trade of drugs and narcotics, that Albania will not receive the invitation to open negotiations with the EU. Albanians are risking losing one of their greatest achievements, the free movement in Europe, the free traveling in the Schengen zone.”

In 2010 the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was one of the main supporters for the liberalization of visas for Albanian nationals. The increase of the Albanian organized crime in the Netherlands and the raising number of asylum seekers in 2017 compelled the law enforcement agencies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to push their decision-making authorities for the return of visas for Albanians.

“Recently the number of asylum requests by Albanians in Holland has overtaken the number of Syrian applicants to become the single biggest national group”, a spokesperson from the Dutch ministry of Security and Justice stated. Worried by this increasing trend, the Netherlands seems to have taken measures to contain the influx of asylum seekers and prevent the spread of Albanian organized crime in the Netherlands.

Moreover, it appears that some EU countries may have been alarmed by a recent Gallup poll, in which Albania ranks fourth worldwide in terms of people’s desire to migrate. In Albania, 60% of the adult population wants to leave their country. Gallup’s latest worldwide survey conducted between 2015 and 2017 ranks Albania in the fourth place out of 152 countries, after Sierra Leone and Liberia which were in the midst of an Ebola outbreak, and Haiti.

The same Gallup survey places Albania at the top of the “brain drain” index in Europe, an index which measures the level of young, highly-educated people who want to leave the country with no plan of returning. The survey showed that in Albania 32% of the highly educated want to permanently leave their country. Monika Kryemadhi, the head of Socialist Party for Integration, responded that “Youth, is the biggest failure of this government, which is forcing young people to flee their country by eradicating their hope and dreams.”

Will the Dutch decision create a domino effect on the reinstatement of visas for Albanian nationals? France has been considering for quite some time to do the same. If, so the EU integration of Albania will be jeopardized more than ever. The Albanian President, Ilir Meta, stated that the decision of the Parliament of the Netherlands is a warning signal. Even the government and the ruling party in Albania know it. Most of all, the Albanian people know it, and they are terrified by the ordeal of visa applications.
But the troubles for the Albanian premier Edi Rama seem to come not only from the EU affairs but mainly from the domestic troubles at home. During the last weeks thousands of people have rallied on the weekly basis in front of the prime ministry and Parliament in Tirana. These protests have attracted the world media due to the frequent usage of tear gas in great amounts by the state police and by the sudden decision of the opposition parties to withdraw their mandates from parliament, an unprecedented act in Albanian politics, claiming the resignation of premier Rama whose party which presently sits alone in Parliament.

Albania is in a political and social turmoil. Students, intellectuals and political parties sympathizers have been rallying for months. The upcoming local elections are expected to mark a more conflictual crisis. Lulzim Basha, head of the opposition, has denounced the investigation files 339 and 184 in which former ministers and Socialist Party mayors are allegedly involved into collaboration with organized crime in manipulating the previous elections. The opposition is intensifying its protests asking for the resignation of Edi Rama and establishment of a transitory government which will ensure free and fair elections.

In order to avoid early parliamentary elections premier Rama’s only hope seems to rely on the judicial reform. During the last three years Albania has been undergoing a very substantial judicial reform. But, in addition to the devastating indicators of high emigration and great numbers of asylum seekers for such an EU aspiring country such as Albania, another recent survey, conducted by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, showed that 63% of Albanians do not believe in the judicial reform over all. Albanians seem skeptical on the vetting of judges and prosecutors who appear to have close ties with high government officials or cannot legally justify their wealth. This has left Rama into a political void.

The Albanian premier seems to have accepted the fact that most likely, in the forthcoming June, the Council of Europe will not invite Albania for the opening of the negotiations for the EU membership, but he appears more worried in preserving his power and his government than the EU integration. And Albania still remains in a crossroad, the same one in which it has been for many years, caught in the trap of the wish and desire of an entire nation to join the EU and the gravity of old politics that continues to keep this small western Balkan country out of the gates of Brussels.

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comite espartaco
Reader

To Luter and others. It is not true that there are jobs that Westerners do not want to do. That are the lies of the exploiters to create cheap pools of labour from all over the world. There are jobs that Westerners and others, do not want to do AT THE CURRENT PRICE… as it is logical in a market economy. Mass uncontrolled migration is a very racist affair. There are not jobs specially designed for Albanians, for Poles, for French, for English or Romanians. If Albanians were to join the EU they should do that with FULL rights and… Read more »

Hakik Demaj
Reader
Hakik Demaj

Why you people worry. It is comment sence. I emigrated to few countries and I worked hard to make a living and support the family. Because that how it should be. We have people who emigrated to Albania they find place to live they find jobs. The world is mixt now . Always is some one to blame. Let blame Albania for other countries to listen. But is not far. How hart is to catch the criminals. And put them in prison. Don’t just blame entire country because few people do crimes. We don’t need to join EU because we… Read more »

comite espartaco
Reader

It is easy to understand. The bigger the number of workers, from wherever they come from, the smaller the salaries and the bigger the prices of housing, etc… therefore, it will be more difficult for the local populations to sustain themselves and raise their own families with proper standards of living. You cannot impose your will and presence on others to raise your own families, simply because the others also have a will and families to think about. It is evident that not all Albanians or Italians or Russians are mafiosi, but Albanians, at this stage, have particularly acute problems… Read more »

Lesson
Reader
Lesson

Will Eu fail again to let Albania join in?

EU system is not robust enough to support the merging EU. This is not Albania and the nation fault.
Albania has worked hard to fill EU expectation but after such a hard work Holland seems to reward with visa system. Going backward. The lesson of the story is that no matter how hard you work the corruption will always win. Congratulations Holland…let’s celebrate evil.

I’m Albania
Reader

I’m from Albania and I’m proud too be Albania,You people just listening for my country but you never visit this beautiful Country. Only people hu you will trust it’s Albania people.that I say the story not me !And for EU she forgot hu is Gjergj Kastrriot Skenderbe. It’s this Man hu help Itali Germany Austria Frans Montenegro.Albania Mafia whi dont kill people,whi sell drogs like everyone whi make biznes like the other.what is wrong here.hu give fuck for som stupid political in Holland.im sorry my English it’s not that perfect but you understand.

comite espartaco
Reader

The entry of Albania in the EU will be the last nail in the coffin for an institution that is already sinking under the weight of a, free for all, migration scramble. It should not be forgotten that it was the ill-considered and wrongful entrance of an unprepared and ultra-migrationist Eastern Europe, the main factor in the ‘destruction’ of the EU and of Brexit. In particular, the millions of Polish migrants in the UK, that constitute a clear and massive attack of unfair competition against British workers, decided the issue of Brexit. An Albania that has not managed to solve… Read more »

Luter
Reader
Luter

Let me tell you why it doesn’t mean anything badbad albania joins eu. Do you know the population of albania? Let me tell you its 2.8mln. Assuming half of that population is older than 40 or younger than 18 and they will never migrate because most have families here another 50% of the remaining half might have already migrated since this cencus was done in 2011 or they have found stability in the country and don’t have the need to migrate. What you have left is less than 1 mln people which assuming they all want to migrate in europe… Read more »

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Is it the fault of the Poles that they are better workers than the British?

comite espartaco
Reader

They are not ‘better’, they are cheaper and used to work under worst conditions… In general, it is the fault of the Poles what happens in Poland, as it is the fault of other peoples what happens in their own countries. The British workers, the First Industrial Nation, do not need or have ever needed Poles or others to show them how to work in their own country. If they were that good, the Poles would have created a good country from which they did not need to flee…!!!

Native Euro
Reader
Native Euro

Albania is Southern Central Europe country geographically, emotionally and blood a pure Central Europe nation, like Germans, French, Italians. Yes, we have lots of problems like any other country and the last 30+ years, we have immigrate all over the world and mostly to our own continent. Wherever we have immigrate we have suited our ideology and tradition with the country we living. This we have done by respecting the rules, ideology and traditional ethics of each country and this is a fact with no ground to argue. Europe has already Albanians from the very first time when the word… Read more »

comite espartaco
Reader

So are the Turks… and the Moroccans… and the Egyptians… but if what you say was true (which it’s not), even if the Albanians were Chinese or Maoist Chinese, as they wanted to be in some moments in their history, even then, the situation and the substance of the issue would not change. Albania IS NOT READY to join the EU. The European Union, that is NOT a racial union, but a multiracial and multicultural union with certain standards of civilization for ALL, cannot commit another huge mistake by the absorption of another 3 million people not YET ready, that… Read more »

Alex
Reader
Alex

Mafia structures in Albania?????????? DO YOU KNOW THE MEANING OF MAFIA??? Sorry to disapoint you but the mafia is a criminal organization with vertical structure – its funny how its possible that the dutch parliament have not mentioned the N’dragheta or Cosa Nostra or Cammora They control all the major criminal trade routes in Europe and yet they sey Albania Mafia The truth is that they can do nothing to the Italian organizations and so they need someone to blame – and voila there it is albania small without real power with no one to back in her favor with… Read more »

comite espartaco
Reader

Albania was already, for many decades, under the influence of the USSR, when it was a Superpower and of China, when it was a revolutionary power. Albania did not substantially change the balance of power, amongst other things because of its size, underdevelopment and geographical situation. Albania is not particularly important in the geopolitical scheme of things. That is why it has been abandoned to its own fate or used, willingly, as peon to destroy Yugoslavia and Serbia. If Albania were to fall today under Russian or Chinese domination, it would not change significantly the game, although a Putin like… Read more »

Bob
Reader
Bob

Shut up u prick, You have no clue where Albania is situated on the map and iqt does have fuck all to do with Britain.. Different rules and shit, and is not in Eastern Europe Go get educated before you open your mouth and spit shit out of it

Emi
Reader
Emi

Why people think Albania is in Eastern Europe!?
Albania is South East of Europe.

As to organised crime, please, Albania is a small fish but i guess no one speaks out or point fingers to those big fishes who run the show but are EU members.

comite espartaco
Reader

There could be many reason to classify Albania as part of Eastern Europe. There are geopolitical, economic and recent historical reasons, etc… In reality it is not that important for what we are saying. You could call Albania whatever you want… Wester, Super-Western or the inventor and creator of Western Civilization and Europe… it does NOT matter. The situation is the same. Albania is not ready to join the EU and if it did, it will be a crime for the rest of Europe and, especially, for Albania itself, as the population will flee and abandon the country to the… Read more »

comite espartaco
Reader

Pity that Enver Hoxha did not last for another 100 years or 200 more…!!!

Tori
Reader
Tori

I do not really care about the poles, but do you really think that the poles are the biggest issue of Britian???

Lol man, in England you have 300,000 immigrants every years and most are non eurpans from pakistan, india, africa and Caribbeans.

So they like more dark meat to mix up with english women that native europans.

Albania must not join the Eu because it will sent the albanian nation to the level of extermination with the degeneration it presents

comite espartaco
Reader

Mass uncontrolled migration is the main issue in the whole world. Migration from the Third World is, of course, part of the problem, but in Britain and Western Europe, mass Polish migration has attacked directly the jobs of the native population, rapidly creating an unsustainable situation. The Brexit reaction was also triggered by the mad open doors policy of Germany. On the other hand, in spite of the propaganda and myths to promote migration, mixing of populations by mass migration is minimal, as this type of migration does not integrate and mix, is in reality quite racist and prejudiced and… Read more »

Fair
Reader
Fair

Will EU fail again to accept Albania?

It’s not Albania the problem but EU that is not robust enough to support the merging EU.

EU have responsibility to Albanian nation to explain its failures as well as Albania. What are the EU failures and what is going to do to fix it.

I AM ALBANIAN and I accomplished what I was asked to do. You are EU what did you do?

Mr.Herry
Reader
Mr.Herry

Holland and so called EU countries . Go Fuck yourself ! Did you forget your millions of emigrant from your countries including criminals . As soon as 5000 ALBANIANS emigrate , than wow ….I understand , because ALBANIANS are proud people and the last emigrating compare with other EU members . It is nothing to do with goverment, but has to do with past – communism and self isolation during cold war . Most of emmigrsnts aren’t up to date with technology and the best way is to emigrate searching old spot for their life Europe is a bitch and… Read more »

TAHIP LALA
Reader
TAHIP LALA

Hahaha. Whoever makes these polls minimum they pay is 10€. So yehh fuck your polls.

Albania is only 3 million so Any country using our name is only using it for pilitical reasons and elections.
These amount of people will never make a difference in any EU Country.

Albanian people soon will realise that EU is a total joke and soon we will realise that we don’t need Eu what we need is to build our country and soon Eu will start ass licking.

Patrick Mukuna
Reader
Patrick Mukuna

Albanians are never up to good by the way

Least annoying
Reader
Least annoying

I respect the fact that some of the comments above come from people that might have an interest like Albanians, have a grudge like serbians or greeks or just a reason to rant about something irrelevant by EU citizens ! But how I see the relevance of the article? Yes, it will be a very harsh measure and will hurt the decent, law abiding, honest and hardworking of majority of Albanians that i know. But at the current political era, the majority is irrelevant! The only excuse and argument that Albania brings to the table is the role it played… Read more »

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

Yes the object of the Euro PTB is the harmonization of wages and working conditions in Europe. DOWNWARD harmonization I forgot to add. There must be free movement of capital, commodities and labour. This amounts to a policy of underdevelopment for both Eastern which is already undergoing a heammorage of population and a deindustrialisation of the economy, all carried out under the auspices of the IMF/World Bank. For every country in Europe East or West this is an economic dead-end. It is a policy of underdevelopment. The virtual abolition of borders simply means that states cannot control their economy. Monetary… Read more »

Davorin Andrijevic
Reader

Kingdom of Holland can’t stop Great Albania to become EU member.

Fanatic
Reader
Fanatic

Albania does not need to become a member of q degenerated multi ethnic and multi rracial entity without morals such as EU.

What is more ridiculous is that Netherlands, a center of prostitution, drug consumption, drug production and trafficing accuses other countries for its own issues.

The fault is of the corrupted albanian politicians and no one elses.

Regular guy
Reader
Regular guy

It’s irrelevant whether the negotiations will be opened or not. Like it or not Albania is in Europe and in the UE(well inside it’s borders at least). Roughly 30 percent already work, study or live in the EU. Yes study and work if you care to ask and not engage in criminal activity. Integrating may have benefits for the country itself but as for the people very little. Take care.

Ardit Memetaj
Reader
Ardit Memetaj

I feel sorry for hard-working albanians dealing with all the corruption that is going on in the EU countries… of course EUROPEAN countries love the cheap labor so it’s on their best interest to to make sure that everything goes upside down in Albania…

Jen
Reader
Jen

Going by information Dr Ana L Scheer gives about Gallup’s polling of young Albanian professionals, I take it that since Albania gave up Communism the country has been in an economic free-fall similar to what some other parts of eastern Europe and the post-Soviet European countries in the Baltics in particular have been experiencing. Any industry or manufacturing Albania might have had during Communist rule has now either been run down or privatised (and bought by foreigners or local corrupt elites) and the country now offers no work or hope for its young people. Albania is now only good for… Read more »

Fatmir Jashari
Reader
Fatmir Jashari

Like in every country of Europe that you have diferent ethnic minority groups like jypsi and alike you have same in Albania and those people want to emigrate in European countries you can see diferenc in their faces juist like Romanians bullgarians and ather countries that olredy went all over Europe my self I have 10 of Romanian jipsy working for me along others and they don’t want to go beack so it is complicated when you sey Albanians don’t think they are all albanians but Albanian nationals

Siddo
Reader
Siddo

Let’s hope the EU bans entry to Albanians. We don’t need anymore immigrants flooding our countries.

hauptmanngurski
Reader

There wasi/is the idea that EU/NATO should be the same. Kissinger also said once that if America does not have Europe, the US will not amount to a world dominant power. They will probably re-activate the TTIP to make it all the same. If Montenegro and Northern Macedonia are allowed to be an EU/NATO member then there is no real argument to not have Albania as well, and, as in preparation Georgia and Ukraine. Europe is likely t break apart by admitting to many ‘poor’ countries but if that’s what they want, so be it. I’m glad I emigrated when… Read more »

different frank
Reader
different frank

Just fuck off

Viron Papa
Reader
Viron Papa

Majority of Albanians are well-known as hardworkers and skilled people
Of course you will see a very small percentage criminals as well, as all over the world even between EU nations
Keep in mind that immigration in every country brings development and don’t forget as the popular Albanian langages expression say:
“There are no forests without pigs “

Armand
Reader
Armand

If you are well educated in the history you will already know that Albania protected Europe from the ottoman empire . If not for the Albanians this old bitch Europe was still in the middle ages.. Albania is the eldest Europeans race in the European continent but the politicians don’t care By ignoring Albania Europe is showing its ugly face and soul.

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

Many immigrants are flooding our countries because of all the wars we are waging everywhere. But on the article, all this does not surprise me. It was clear to me 20 years ago that organised crime, and particulary from Kosovo was going to be an issue for Europe. After the conflict in the Balkans, crime levels increased among this community in Greece, Italy and later on in the rest of the EU including UK The UK and EU being the ‘saviour’ of the Albanian Kosovo people of course ignored this and other obvious obstacles making promises of riches to the… Read more »

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

You mean the destruction of Serbia by NATO bombing?

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

Haltonbrat
Apologies – I should have made that clearer. I mean Albania’s complicity in the NATO destruction of Serbia – which includes Kosovo a province of Serbia. And our punishment, our role in that destruction and being short sighted not to recognise Albanian and Kosovo Albanian corruption and organised crime.

Ardit Memetaj
Reader
Ardit Memetaj

No need to spread ignorance …education is going to make you understand …education is the key

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Do you get your education from the New York Times?