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EU sets Albania on road to membership

Published on Jun 24, 2014 6:18 PM
Members of a Roma family riding a tricycle packed with sacks to collect plastic and aluminum waste from rubbish bins for sale to the recycling industry in Albania's ca[ital city, Tirana. A chaotic transition to capitalism has left the former Stalinist dictatorship mired in poverty and corruption. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union set Albania on the road to membership on Tuesday, agreeing to give the small Balkan state the status of candidate to join in recognition of the government’s recent reform efforts.

Years of political polarisation have slowed democratic reforms in Albania and kept it behind some of its former Yugoslav peers.

But a change of government last September opened the way for an EU-backed reform push.

“Congratulations on candidate status just agreed,” EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said on Twitter. “(It is an) acknowledgement of reform efforts, encouragement for more.”

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