In the last few years, Albania, as well as other South Eastern and Mediterranean countries, have shown an increasing interest in deepening its internal level of democratisation as well as its relations with EU. This rising commitment should, however, face a still great political instability and the effective persistence of institutional corruption. Organized crime has exploited the chance of consolidating links between Albanian clans and the wider criminal world. According to the EU, the FBI or any other police organization reports, the situation concerning organized crime and corruption is grave throughout the Balkans, but especially, in Albania, even while its authorities are continuing to implement talks for future membership in the EU. Something has been done, but it is not, of course, sufficient. The authorities appear not to admit to the full extent of criminal links with individuals among state offices, the police and politics. In many areas the traffickers work with the complicity of police and customs officials and enjoy the protection of high-ranking politicians. Corruption remains endemic and is destined to seriously undermine efforts for democratization of the society. This paper aims to analyze the impact of the problem of corruption and illegality on the democratisation process and the attempts to approach to EU, Albania. Firstly, an historical and political overview of the several attempts made by the country to change will be done, secondly, the level of criminal infiltration through local authorities at every level in the political, economic and social life will be measured. Thirdly, the set of programs and institutions used by the EU to exert pressure on the Albanian political élite and the response from local stakeholders will be analysed. Finally, some conclusive remarks will be used to assess the current situation of the country and its future perspectives.
Questo articolo intende analizzare l’impatto della corruzione e della illegalità sul processo di democratizzazione albaese e sulle relazioni con l’Unione Europea in vista dell’allargamento. La prima parte presenta un quadro storico e politico dei numerosi tentativi compiuti dalle élites politiche per cambiare gli assetti istituzionali del paese. Nella seconda viene misurato empiricamente - mediante ricorso a fonti secondarie – il livello di infiltrazione criminale nelle istituzioni, nell’economia, nella società. La terza parte presenta il complesso dei programmi e delle misurate elaborate dell’UE per esercitare condizionalità e la risposta proveniente dagli stakeholders locali. Nelle conclusioni, oltre ad alcuni commenti generali, si tenta di tracciare alcune linee programmatiche per le prospettive future del paese.