The Dutch government requested ending visa-free travel for Albanians on May 31, saying it was facilitating Europe’s penetration by criminal gangs. The complaint contradicts the Commission’s remarkably upbeat recommendation two days before to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Several member states are sceptical of allowing EU accession too soon.
- Albania’s membership ambitions will be hampered by its reputation for criminality.
- Brexit will remove an EU member state that has backed enlargement.
- Albanian political and policy stability is a condition for World Bank forecasts of steady annual economic growth of 3.7-3.8% in 2019-21.