he Republic of Albania is an official candidate for accession to the European Union since June 2014. Officially recognised by the EU as a "potential candidate country" in 2000, Albania started negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in 2003. This was successfully agreed and signed on 12 June 2006, thus completing the first major step toward Albania's full membership in the EU. Albania applied for European Union membership on 28 April 2009. Following the steps of countries joining the EU in 2004, Albania has been extensively engaged with EU institutions, and joined NATO as a full member in 2009. Following its application for EU membership, the Council of the European Union asked the European Commission on 16 November 2009 to prepare an assessment on the readiness of Albania to start accession negotiations, a step in the accession process that usually takes about a year. On 16 December 2009, the European Commission submitted the Questionnaire on accession preparation to the Albanian government. Albania returned answers to them on 14 April 2010. On 5 December 2013, an MEP meeting recommended to the Council to grant Albania candidate status without undue delay. On 23 June 2014, under the Greek EU Presidency, the Council of the European Union agreed to grant Albania candidate status, which was endorsed by the European Council a few days later.
The Republic of Albania is an official candidate for accession to the European Union since June 2014