Klodiana Beshku and Orjana Mullisi
Klodiana Beshku is born in Tirana, Albania. She is graduated in University of Siena, Italy, in Political Sciences/International Relations. She has obtained a Master degree in European Studies by the University of Siena and University Robert Schuman III of Strasbourg, France in 2005. She has a PhD in Geopolitics by the University of Pisa, Italy. Since 2008, she teaches at the University of Tirana while she has participated in many International conferences and workshops. Her areas of expertise are: European Studies, Regional Studies, Geopolitics and Security Studies. In 2013, she has co-edited the volume Albania and Europe in a Political Regard, published with the Cambridge scholar Publishing. During 2015-2016, she has been a fellow of LEAD Albania Program, a program similar to the White House Fellowships which brought her to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania as an adviser for the Western Balkans Region. Actually, she leads the Jean Monnet program of the Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Social sciences, University of Tirana.

Orjana Mullisi is born in Elbasan, Republic of Albania. Obtaining a scholarship by the European Commission, she graduated at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law, Belgium, as a Master's graduate of law in International and European studies in 2013. Until 2015 she was a researcher and contributed to various EU related projects. In 2015 in her capacity as a young civil servant and a diplomat coming from one of the Western Balkans countries and employed in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania she deepened her knowledge on EU related issues as a desk officer in EU Department dealing with political dialogue and integration process of Albania to the EU. She participated in various EU oriented trainings, study visits, conferences and seminars abroad. On 2016 she was selected by the European Commission and British Council to participate to the EU Scheme for Young Professionals Program, an EU funded scheme aiming at contributing to progress in the accession process and to deepen regional cooperation among WB6 countries. Since 2017 she is a Diplomat at the Mission of the Republic of Albania to the EU in Brussels where she follows closely the latest developments regarding the EU accession process of WB countries while coordinating official visits of delegations from Albania to Brussels, and further intensifying the country's efforts to join EU.
Visits: 272
Downloads: 27
Creative Commons License
Journal of Liberty and International Affairs | Vol. 4, No. 2 | November 2018
Klodiana Beshku and Orjana Mullisi
This paper tries to further elaborate one of the most important external powers of the European Union: Its "reforming power" which goes in parallel with its ability as "normative actor" in the Western Balkans. Through Albania as a case study, it tries to argue that the process of Albania's integration to EU has transformed the country in several directions: by introducing a deep juridical reform and by the full alignment of its foreign policy with CFSP and the "regional cooperation". In fact, under the auspices of the EU integration, the country is making all the efforts to deliver on one of the most transformative reforms undertaken in the region, that of the justice system. This gives to EU the features of a "reforming power". The term shows EU as a driving force which makes countries undertake deep reforms they would not have differently realized, if not under the conditionality for the EU integration.
Albania; EU integration; enlargement; reforming power; transformative power; regional cooperation; conditionality

1 Abazi Enika. (2018). EU's Balkan Test. Available at: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2018/06/25/eus-balkans-test-geopolitics-of-a-normative-power/ (last accessed in August 2018).
2 AIIS (2014). The European perspective of Albania: Perceptions and Realities. Study, 51, Tirane, 2014.
3 Apelblat M. (2018). EU benchmarks for WB: Political will missing, The Brussels Time, 11 April at: http://www.brusselstimes.com/eu-affairs/10953/eu-benchmarks-for-western-balkans-clear-but-political-will-missing, last checked in August 2018.
4 Balkan Policy Research Group (2018) The Berlin process for the Western Balkans: Gains and challenges for Kosovo Policy report,2, January 2018
5 Beshku Klodiana (2016). Intellectuals' perception of Albanian Foreign Policy 2013-2015, Study Series, Center of Excellence, Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13, May.
6 Bieber Florian (2011). Building Impossible States? State-Building Strategies and EU Membership in the Western Balkans, Europe-Asia Studies, 63:10, 1783-1802
7 Bieber Florian (2018). It is time to ditch the Berlin Process, Op-ed, European Western Balkans, 10.07.2018 at: https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2018/07/10/time-ditch-berlin-process/, (last checked in August 2018).
8 BiEPAG (2014). The unfulfilled promise. Completing the Balkan Enlargement, Centre for Southeast European Studies Policy Paper, 3, May 2014 (accessed: 12. April 2017).
9 BiEPAG (2017). The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans. Authoritarianism and EU Stabilitocracy, Policy Brief, March 2017 (accessed: 12. April 2017).
10 Bushati Ditmir (2016). EU Enlargement 'lacks soul'", Op-ed, Euractiv, 25 November.
11 European Council (2018). Council conclusions on Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process as adopted by the Council on 26 June 2018 available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/35863/st10555-en18.pdf, (last accessed 23.8.2018)
12 Dobrushi Andi (2017). "How Albania is reforming its troubled Justice System", February 11, in:
13 https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/how-albania-reforming-its-troubled-justice-system, (last checked in October 2018).
14 Dobrushi Andi (2017). "Albanians voted, and the winner is ... the EU", Politico, June. http://www.politico.eu/article/albania-vote-winner-is-the-eu-brussels/ (accessed 3 July 2017)
15 EEAS (2016). Statement of EU Delegation to Albania, Press statement by EU Delegation. Tirana: 22 December 2016: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/albania/18115/statement-eu-delegation-albania_en (accessed: 17 May 2017)
16 Elbasani, Arolda (2004). 'Albania in Transition. Manipulation or Appropriation of International Norms', South East European Politics, 5(1): 24-44.
17 Elbasani Arolda (2009). KFG Working Paper Nr. 2 July 2009 EU Administrative Conditionality and Domestic Downloading: The Limits of Europeanization in Challenging Contexts available at: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/kfgeu/kfgwp/wpseries/WorkingPaperKFG_2.pdf (last accessed 23.8. 2018).
18 European Parliament (2016). "The Western Balkans' Berlin process: A new impulse for regional cooperation", EP Briefing, July: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/586602/EPRS_BRI(2016)586602_EN.pdf, (last accessed October 2018).
19 ESI (2016). "Beyond Enlargement fatigue", ESI Series, 24 April, available at: https://www.esiweb.org/pdf/esi_document_id_74.pdf, (last accessed in August 2018).
20 European Commission (2018), Report on Albania (Albania 2018 Report, April: https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20180417-albania-report.pdf, (last accessed October 2018)
21 European Commission (2015). Report on Albania at: https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/pdf/key_documents/2015/20151110_report_albania.pdf, (last access June 2018).
22 European Commission (2016). Communication on EU Enlargement Policy, November. http://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/pdf/key_documents/2016/20161109_strategy_paper_en.pdf (last access on 17 May 2017).
23 European Parliament (2017). 2016 Enlargement package Prospects for the Western Balkans, Briefing, January, at:
24 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/595919/EPRS_BRI%282017%29595919_EN.pdf,
(last accessed 23.8.2018).
25 European Western Balkans (2016). EU Ministers agree on EC recommendation for Albania, 13 December, at https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2016/12/13/eu-ministers-agree-on-ec-recommendation-for-albania/, (last accessed: 17 May 2017).
26 European Western Balkans (2017). Berlin plus will not change the game, at: https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2017/06/06/berlin-plus-will-not-change-the-game/,
(last accessed 23.8.2018).
27 Fras Max (2017). "Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?", LSE, June at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2017/06/30/edi-rama-takes-control-albania/, (last accessed 3 July 2017).
28 Freyburg Tina, Richter Solveigh (2010). "National Identity Matters: The Limited Impact of EU Political Conditionality in the Western Balkans", Journal of European Public Policy, 17(2): 263-281.
29 Gergana Noutcheva (2007). "Fake, partial and Imposed Compliance. The limits of EU's normative power in the Western Balkans". CEPS Working Document, n. 274, August.
30 Grabbe Heather (2006). The EU's transformative power: Europeanization through Conditionality in Central and Eastern Europe, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
31 Heath Ryan (2016). "The Race for EU Membership", Politico, December: http://www.politico.eu/article/the-race-for-eu-membership-neighborhood-turkey-uk-european-commission/ (last accessed 26 May 2017).
32 Johnson Ailish M. (2001). "Albania's relations with the EU: on the road to Europe?" Journal of Southern and the Balkans, Volume 3, Number 2.
33 Keil Soeren, Arkan Zeynep (2016). "The limits of normative power" in Keil Soeren, Arkan Zeynep, 2016. The EU and Member State Building. European Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans, New York: Routledge.
34 Kouchner Bernard (2017). "Albania shows EU enlargement is far from over", Financial Times, June 15.
35 Lilyanova, Velina (2016). "The Western Balkans' Berlin process: A new impulse for Regional Cooperation". European Parliamentary Research, Briefing. (last accessed October 2018)
36 O'Brennan John, Esmeralda Gassie (2009). "From stabilization to consolidation: Albanian state capacity and adaptation to European Union rules", Journal of Balkans and Near East Studies, Volume 11, (Number 1), March, 61-82.
37 Pridham Geoffrey (2007). "Change and Continuity in the European Union's political conditionality: aims, approach and priorities", Democratization, Vol. 14, Issue 3.
Circle of Friends
Any views expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of the editors or publisher.
Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
is published by the Institute for Research and European Studies - Bitola
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License