Freedom House has published the annual report “Nations in Transit 2013″ which analyzes the progress’ level of Albania in terms of democratization in important areas such as: National Democratic Governance; Electoral Process; Civil Society; Independent Media; Local Democratic Governance; Judicial Framework and Independence; and Corruption, areas which are crucial to the fulfillment of the Copenhagen political criteria.
Despite making progress on some relevant legislative reforms, Albania was denied EU candidate status for the third year in a row. Albania’s electoral process rating remained unchanged at 4.25. Albania’s rating for local democratic governance worsened. In the fall of 2012, the European Commission gave the country’s stalled EU accession bid new momentum by recommending that Albania be granted candidate status. However, the EU ultimately decided not to grant candidate status to Albania in 2012. The downward trends are related to: Electoral Process, and Judicial Framework and Independence being downgraded
Nations in Transit 2013 is Freedom House’s comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia. The overarching conclusion is that Corruption in the Balkan states appears to be deepening, despite pressure from the European Union and international lending institutions to strengthen judicial independence and produce verdicts in high-profile cases. Across the region, political interests and personal connections between government and business regularly influence public tender and privatization procedures. Judicial institutions are overburdened and subject to political interference. And journalists–particularly those covering organized crime and corruption–face political pressure.