Albania faces shortcomings in infrastructure, governance and EU funding: Vienna Institute
The Vienna Institute for Economic Studies has analyzed the Western Balkan countries in their journey towards the European Union, with emphasis on the main shortcomings.
When it comes to infrastructure, the institute estimates that Albania has a deficit of something more than 10% per year by 2022.
So Albania seems to need to channel about 10% of GDP just to keep the infrastructure alive, or about $ 1.3 billion a year on average.
A higher shortcoming than Albania in terms of infrastructure have only Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, two relatively new countries in the Balkans and with a recent war history and conflicts.
This is only Albania’s first deficit vis-a-vis Europe.
The second deficit refers to governance.
The Vienna Institute concludes that, in the best case, Albania needs 12 years to reach the level of Romania or Bulgaria before their membership in the union in terms of good governance.
12 years will be evaluated only if there is a qualitative leap in the country’s democracy, while in the most normal scenario, Albanians will have to wait 15 years to have a government like the Romanians or Bulgarians 8 years before membership of their country in the union.
Taking as a basis the most optimistic scenario, it turns out that only Bosnia and Herzegovina is projected to have a longer timeframe than Albania, which means that if the neighbors undertake democratization reforms, similarly to Albania, they will meet standards of countries such as Romania or Bulgaria sooner than Tirana.
Shortcoming number three meanwhile refers to Brussels’s funds to the Balkan countries.
Albania is the country that receives less funding, such as funds or grants.
A graph clearly shows that, with financial support to just over 1% of GDP, Albania is the last in the region.
The graph also shows that Albania is the country that receives less financial support in the form of loans, highlighted by the yellow color on the graph.