This policy brief was launched for public debate in October 2008, at a time when (almost two years after the signing of the SAA and the entry into force of the Interim Agreement, December 2006) Albanian political actors were seriously considering the possibility to submit an application for EU membership. This issue was in fact raised in early 2008 through individual political statements urging the Government to submit an application by the end of 2008. Yet, the public debate was not triggered, due to the weak involvement of political actors, opinion makers and experts. In fact, the absence of a debate revealed the lack of a structured approach to the issue by political actors. Experts and opinion makers are also at odds over the timing of an application for membership.