Since the fall of Communism in 1991, Albania’s aspiration is to become a member of the European Union. However, to become a member of the ‘European family’, countries have to go through a long process of transformation of domestic structures. This process could bring along important structural changes in potential candidate states, which are without membership perspective hardly to reach. This book explores whether the EU has an influence on political and economic domestic developments through membership conditionality in a potential candidate state. Moreover, the role of domestic characteristics and actors in the process is taken into consideration. It seems that the political elite, characterized by short term interest, polarisation and corruption, withholds Albania from further progress on the political and economic Copenhagen criteria. Identification with the European Union seems to be the main driver for transformation. However, national interests of political elites, based on a rational choice, undermine the domestic developments in Albania. These national interests do not only affect the integration process, but also the development of Albania itself.