In June 2013 Albanians went to the polls and voted to change course of government. The most voted poltical project promised to steer the country towards consolidation of democracy and further integration into EU structures. It also pledged a systematic approach to modernization of state structure and fresh new thinking in running the state. As the incoming government in Tirana strikes to push for a new course, Brussels has made it clear that further European integration necessitates dealing with long-standing problems of rule of law -public administration, corruption, judiciary independence, and abuse of public office. Increasing demand for a shift of government on the domestic side, and growing pressure for rule of law reforms on the EU side, might create a crucial 'critical' juncture where both domestic and EU actors ally to push forward stalling reforms.
Arolda Elbasani is Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI, Florence