The European Perspective of Albania: Perceptions and Realities 2013

Author: megi / Date: 19-02-2015 /

In the 2013 edition of the European Perspective of Albania: Perceptions and Realities, the focus was perceptions from citizens on potential effects of integration on the overall economic situation of the country, on the benefits and cost that Albanian business might see during this process and after accession as well as one some more specific issues such as privileged sectors to benefit from integration/accession according to public perception and attitude towards the euro currency. This section theme was chosen for two reasons. First economic concerns and aspirations are very concrete in citizens’ everyday life unlike most abstract or complex issues such as those related to politics. Second there has been during the last years, a severe economic and financial crisis that has hit the global economy in general but has been harder on neighboring and regional countries especially those in which the majority of Albanian migrants Albanian reside: Italy and Greece. The crisis in Europe has been also the topic of many debates and controversial policies about solidarity, legitimacy of bailouts, austerity and most importantly about the very prospect of the European identity.

The crisis and the media coverage associated with it have been shaping at least partially the public opinion in Albania. This can be seen for example in the responses towards the possibility of the adoption of euro or even in the reasons cited by EU-skeptics for their stance. However one major result that comes across from the answers is that more information is needed on the economic dimension of European integration, especially or the responsibilities involved and the potential costs for business and economy. For example that fact that most citizens can not pick up sectors of economy which are posed to benefit more from accession is an indication of lack of knowledge on the subject.