Albania – along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in June 2003.
In 2009, Albania submitted its formal application for EU membership. In its Opinion on Albania's application (in 2010), the Commission assessed that before accession negotiations could be formally opened, Albania still had to achieve a necessary degree of compliance with the membership criteria and in particular to meet the 12 key priorities identified in the Opinion.
In October 2012, Commission recommended that Albania be granted EU candidate status, subject to completion of key measures in the areas of judicial and public administration reform and revision of the parliamentary rules of procedures.
In June 2014, Albania was awarded candidate status by the EU.