Latest News from Albania

Travelling To/From the Balkans? The COVID-19 Rules that Apply

Only passengers travelling to the United Kingdom are subjected to quarantine. 

The majority of countries in the region require confirmation of vaccination or negative PCR or antigen test made less than 48 or 72 hours prior to travel in order to avoid 7-14-day quarantine.

Some countries require completion of online health forms or medical checks upon arrival. 

Vote-Buying Hurts Trust in Albanian Election Result, Again

Albania's new parliament will convene in September, but it will do so under a cloud of suspicion due to the failure of authorities to stamp out a long-running practice of vote-buying.

Caretaker PM Yanev Met with Slovenian Ambassador

Caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev held meeting with the Ambassador of Slovenia Andrzej Franges. 

During the meeting Yanev stated that some of our European partners are taking sides, tolerating the Republic of Northern Macedonia, respectively - accusing Bulgaria without real and well-founded reasons. 

Albania Arrests Ruling Party Mayor for Abuse of Office

The Special Prosecution said on Tuesday that the mayor of the western city of Lushnja, Fatos Tushe, a member of the ruling Socialist Party, has been arrested alongside five other senior officials on graft charges.

They are accused of abuse of office and "violating the equality of participants in public tenders or auctions", the prosecution said.

Only Serbia did not show support; "The EU has taken note"

This was announced today by the European Council.
On June 21, the EU Council imposed sanctions against 78 Belarusian citizens and seven entities for serious violations of human rights and repression of civil society, the opposition and journalists, and for the forced landing of a passenger plane.

Balkan Leaders Pledge to Boost Economic Cooperation

Leaders at an online summit on Monday, part of the Berlin Process, an initiative to boost regional cooperation among Western Balkan countries and their European integration, pledged to boost economic ties while affirming the need for EU integration of all the countries in the region.

Top Turkish official stresses importance of stability in Albania

Turkey's presidential spokesman on July 2 underlined the importance of peace and stability in Albania for Turkey and the Balkans. 

Stating that Turkey is in cooperation with Albania in the defense industry, İbrahim Kalın told reporters in the Albanian capital of Tirana that, "Peace and stability of Albania is our peace and stability and also the peace and stability of the Balkans."

Albanian Police Arrested in International Anti-Drug Trafficking Raids

A screen from Italian police footage showing drug seizures during the operation.

Among those arrested are both current and former Albanian police officers. SPAK described two of the arrested as officers who "at the time when they carried out their illegal activities in 2016 were members of the staff of the [then] Minister of Interior".

EU enlargement a response to strategic challenges, says Janša

Brdo pri Kranju – EU enlargement is one of Slovenian EU presidency priorities and a response to strategic challenges, Prime Minister Janez Janša told Thursday’s press conference after a meeting between the government and the EU Commission delegation marking the start of the presidency stint. Slovenia will host an EU-Western Balkans summit in October.

Slovenia Takes Over EU Presidency Amid Wave of Criticism

Slovenia formally took over the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union on Thursday, announcing its focus as tackling the coronavirus pandemic and recovery, enhancing resilience to future crises, and EU enlargement.

Western Balkans Roaming Charges End – With Internet Use Warning

Starting from Thursday, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo are dropping all roaming charges.

This means that citizens of these countries can make phone calls and send messages across the Western Balkan region without restrictions, paying the same prices as if they are in their home country.

Week in Review: No Quick Fixes

Shared Interests

European Union flags. Photo: EPA-EFE

In an exclusive opinion piece for Balkan Insight, the foreign ministers of the EU's 'Trio Presidency' - Germany, Portugal and Slovenia - reaffirm the EU's commitment to enlargement and opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.