On the Way to the Full membership of Albania in NATO and beyond: Challenge

Date: February 2009

Preface

This book is the edition of the study on “The challenges of Albania after receiving the invitation for membership in NATO”, carried out during the period of June 2008 – February 2009 from a working group composed of six professionals and researchers with experience in particular parts related to Atlantic integration issue. In the book this study is presented under a title a little bit changed: “On the way to the full membership of Albania in NATO and beyond – Challenge” which, as it is clearly understood, in essence is the same topic of the study. The members of the working group are Dr. Arian Starova, Mr. Petrit Karabina, Thimi Hudhra, Kristaq Birbo, Prof.Dr. Agim Binaj and Rezart Tershana.

The whole study was thought and carried out as a project of the Atlantic Council of Albania.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense played a very important role for the compilation of the information and of its analytic elaboration for the benefit of the study.

The main uncourageous idea for this study and its publication of the book was born as a consequence of the lack of the first analytic effort to consider the last steps of the Atlantic integration process in all included way concerning the problems that look for solution and the historical level as well. That’s why the study, even though it is focused in those considered as challenges of the Albanian Atlantic integration, during the period between two High Level Meetings of NATO in Bucharest and Strasbourg , it casts the view a little bit beyond them. The need for this study and especially its publication is connected to the importance for the information of the Albanian public on the Atlantic integration of their country.

Through this study book the working group has strongly wished to show to all the interested people and especially to those that are officially working for Atlantic integration of the Albania, that after receiving the invitation to join NATO in Bucharest, it becomes always more important not simply to be a member of NATO, but to be a serious member, productive and active for the NATO policies, which at the same time needs time, energy and investments in human and material resources.

In order to receive as many as possible ideas and experiences for this study, there were organized two round-table meetings with participants from the official institutions, non governmental organizations, diplomatic corpus, on 29 October and on 13 December 2008.

Being conscious that there is no perfect study, not mentioning that this study is e first undertaken which needs to be pushed foreword alongside the concrete progress of Albania in its road to NATO after the High Level Meeting in Strasbourg - Kiel in April 2009, we would like to stress particularly to the official institutions that work for the Atlantic integration of Albania, to have a look on this book with the hope to find in it any worthwhile idea.