Performance of Western Balkan Economies Regarding the European Pillar of Social Rights: 2022 review on Albania
Albania shows progress in almost all areas towards achieving the European standards related to the Social Rights Pillar during 2021-2022. Of particular importance is the fact that as the economy recovered and rebounded in 2021, economic inequality declined, access to the labour market improved, and the gender wage gap showed signs of narrowing. A new Strategy for Development and European Integration 2030 was adopted in 2022 to foster the integration in the region and the EU. Nevertheless, some challenges remain, especially in social sectors. Social spending in general remains low. Reasons include a limited coverage by the unemployment insurance programme as well as a limited scope of the social safety net (no guaranteed minimum income, no child or family benefits and limitations in access to health services). As a result, the percentage of population at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion remains one of the highest in Europe.