Author: Ervilda Smajlaj
Abstract: The fact that the Balkans represent an extremely complex reality is widely known. It is impossible to forget the famous phrase of Winston Churchill, according to which ‘‘the Balkans produce more history than they are able to consume’’. This statement retains all its relevance even today. Within this scenario, Albania plays a strategic role. The sudden collapse of the Communist regime brought the country into a state of semi–anarchy. The Albanian transition from dictatorship to democracy has gone through several phases, a number of which dramatic in some ways. The events, both positive and negative, which took place in the region, have had a relevant impact on surrounding areas and have significantly affected the positions of the major global players. The present study focuses especially on the influence that two important western powers, the European Union and the United States of America, with two different models of governance, have in Albania and highlights their important support in the process of democratization after the fall of Communism in 1992. This essay analyzes the importance of these two international actors in the Albanian political and economical reforms, as well as the role of Albania in their politics and the factors that determine these relations.
Keywords:Albania, Balkans, democratization, EU integration, role of USA