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After five decades of harsh authoritarianism and isolation, which fostered an environment of intense politicization, systemic corruption, and endemic organized crime, Albania, a NATO ally, has made remarkable democratic progress. Corruption, however, still represents a risk to Albania’s progress toward EU membership and further Euro-Atlantic integration.

Albania’s ongoing justice reforms, initiated in 2016 and implemented through U.S. and EU funding and expertise, are finally starting to overcome the long-standing climate of impunity.  U.S. and EU support has led to the establishment of independent justice and anti-corruption institutions which now conduct high-profile investigations and obtain convictions of corrupt actors and significant asset seizures.

INL supports completion of these justice and corrections reform efforts and strengthening new institutions and improving the capacity of government, justice, and law enforcement entities to prevent, detect, and punish corruption, money laundering, and organized crime.

INL Programming

  • Citizen Security and Law Enforcement – strengthen institutional integrity; enhance operational efficiencies; develop investigative capacity.
  • Rule of Law – support ongoing reform of existing criminal justice institutions and legal bodies and support civil society’s role in rule of law reform; improve capabilities of Albania’s corrections services.
  • Counternarcotics – strengthen institutional capacity to combat narcotics trafficking and promote reduction of drug supply and demand.


The United States seeks to foster a democratic and prosperous Albania that is fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and adheres to the rule of law.  INL programs strengthen democratic institutions to effectively implement rule of law reforms.  INL programs build the capacity of Albanian law enforcement to more effectively combat corruption and crime, including transnational criminal threats.

INL programs promote judicial accountability and the long-term development of a credible, transparent, and fair justice sector through legislative reform and the successful prosecution of organized crime, corruption, and financial crimes.


  • INL supported the creation of the Albanian Special Anti-Corruption Body (SPAK).  The specialized anti-corruption and organized crime entity – which consists of a Special Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) and a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) modeled on the FBI is making real progress on investigations, arrests, and convictions of government officials and organized crime figures.  INL helped the National Bureau of Investigation create a full contingent of trained, vetted investigators.
  • In 2022, Special Anti-Corruption Body investigations led to 155 convictions and seizures of 75 million euros, 305,000 square meters of land, 41 businesses, 34 buildings, and four million euros in banks.  One case resulted in asset seizures worth ten million euros, including from construction companies that received public funds.
  • Prosecutor and judicial vetting cases, conducted with INL support for international oversight, have resulted in dismissal or resignation of 60 percent of officials vetted, many due to ties to organized crime or for unexplained wealth.
  • INL supported the first long-term Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) presence in Albania to cooperate with Albanian law enforcement in combatting criminal networks and preventing drug trafficking in Albania and beyond.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future