Albania´s challenges of implementation of Agri-Environmental
Policies in the framework of EU Accession
The agricultural and rural development policy is especially of multi-dimensional importance for Albania, given that agriculture contributes around 20% of the country‟s GDP and it employs nearly half of the country´s workforce. Furthermore, the economic and financial opportunities that EU provides through accessing of the single market and the instruments of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are additional incentives to progress towards EU integration. Nevertheless, by just formally aligning the legal and policy framework with EU requirements may not be sufficient to access the benefits of the single market and of CAP´s different financial instruments.
Albania, itself, needs to prepare a viable farming sector that is able to withstand competitive pressures in the single market after joining the EU and that can promote rural development and converge with EU standards related to food security and natural resources management. This means that policy, structural and market reforms should be guided by the contextual features of the country´s agricultural sector and capacities to implement them in the field. These issues will be discussed in more detail in the subsequent research policy papers.