Danubius International Conferences, 14th International Conference on European Integration - Realities and Perspectives

Political Parties Attitude, Voter Confidence and EU Integration (Albanian Case)

Dorina Bёrdufi
Last modified: 2019-04-02


This article is an examination of the relations among political parties and voters’ confidence of their actions in the direction of fulfilling the EU integration criteria. The political context challenges are one of the most important criteria to be fulfilled from Albania to enter the EU (as it is a candidate state from 2014). In this context, political parties play the main role. On the other hand, in front of political parties stand as opposite the voter/citizens. Theoretically political parties need to follow the citizens’ interests and solve their problems to gain / maintain their support in the upcoming elections. This article links these two variables in the European Union Integration context. Therefore, the main thesis to be explained is “Voters’ trust is not an important/inflecting factor for the Albanian political parties in their attitude toward the EU integration criterion fulfilling”. Empiric data shows that the party’s public salience, the leadership position/party orientation of fulfilling the EU criterion are in high level.  But a deeper analysis shows a contradicting result on public attitude against their real action in the political arena of Albania. Albanian faces political party pragmatic actions focusing in fulfilling their own interest and not the EU Criterion of Integration. Political parties of Albania are very much political polarized, have a strong leader, have between parties’ conflict (that brings also to parliament boycott), etc. In this context, empirical results show that the voters’ confidence in political parties (apart from the ideological voter) per se, in political parties solving problems such as corruption, level of democracy, lows government performance, high level of unemployment, GDP and Inflation, etc. is in low level. The most interesting result is that it is possible to assert that even though political parties mainly do not act towards the European Criterion fulfillment, the ideological voter (mostly of the Socialist Party) will keep supporting (vote) them. This could be one explanation of non-action so much towards the EU integration of the Albanian political parties. As a conclusion, the voter trust into political parties results not to be a determinant for the Political party’s action and attitude, toward the European Integration. Although it is a factor of slowing down the level of belief of the Albanian citizens that Albania will enter the EU soon, resulting not so positive for this country to integrate in a bigger politically and economically government.