June 24, 2014 - 12:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Albania is expecting the European Union to grant it candidate status Tuesday, June 24, to join the bloc, after three rejections since 2009, the Associated Press reports.
The EU had postponed its decision in December, asking the country to show tangible results in fighting corruption and organized crime, and consolidating the rule of law. Prime Minister Edi Rama's Socialist party, which came to power in June 2013, has pledged to push for EU integration.
Candidate status doesn't mean automatic membership. Tirana will have to meet requirements in tackling crime and corruption, and bringing its justice system and administration to European standards.
As part of efforts to show it takes its commitments seriously, Albanian police recently took control of a lawless southern village, a main source of marijuana production, after a four-day gunbattle.