Albania, formally the Republic of Albania, is a nation in Southeast Europe bordered to the northwest by Montenegro, to the northeast by Kosovo, to the east by the Republic of Macedonia, and to the south and southeast by Greece. It borders the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is just 72 kilometers (45 miles) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto, which links the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
Albania’s current area was part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia, and Moesia Superior. Albania proclaimed independence in 1912, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in Europe as a result of the Balkan Wars, and was acknowledged the following year. In 1939, Italy invaded the Kingdom of Albania, becoming Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. The next year, under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour, a socialist People’s Republic was formed. During the communist period, Albania underwent significant social and political changes, as well as isolation from most of the world community. The Socialist Republic of Albania was dissolved in 1991, and the Republic of Albania was formed.
Albania is a republic with a parliamentary system. Tirana, the country’s capital and financial and industrial center, has a population of about 800,000 people. Foreign investment has increased as a result of free-market reforms, particularly in the construction of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania has a high HDI and offers its people with universal health care as well as free primary and secondary education. Albania has an upper-middle-income economy dominated by the service industry, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture.
Albania belongs to the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, and the World Trade Organization. It is a founding member of the Energy Community, the Organization for Economic Cooperation in the Black Sea, and the Union for the Mediterranean. It is also an official candidate for European Union membership.