Stabilization and association agreements are part of the EU Stabilisation and Association Process (PSA) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At present, the countries of the Western Balkans are at the heart of the PSA. Specific Stabilization and Association Agreements (ASAs) have been implemented with various Balkan countries, which contain explicit provisions for the country`s future accession to the EU. The SAAs resemble in principle the European agreements signed in the 1990s with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the association agreement with Turkey. Successive amendments to the agreement were introduced in the original document. This consolidated version is only of documentary value. The Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements between Albania and the EU came into force on 1 January 2008.  In June 2008, Albania received a roadmap from the EU for further visa liberalisation with Schengen countries.  The agreement with Kosovo was the first to be signed after the Entry into Force of the Lisbon Treaty, which took over the LEGAL personality of the EU.   An EU representative in Kosovo stated that «unlike the ASA with other countries in the region, this agreement will be exclusively the EU agreement. The EU will sign them as a legal entity.  The agreement did not have to be ratified individually by each Member State, some of which did not recognize Kosovo`s independence.
 The representative added: «Since Kosovo is not recognised by the five Member States, we had to adopt a directive stating that the signing of the agreement will not mean that the EU or any of the countries will recognise Kosovo as a state.»  The decision has been in effect since February 26, 2009 and the agreement since January 1, 2009. Working document of the Commission`s services – Albania Report 2018 – Accompanying document Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament, to the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Communication 2018 on EU Enlargement Policy (SWD (2018) 151 final, 17.4.2018) Although the impact on overall well-being is generally positive, we also note that Albania`s accession to the EU is a consolidation with the accession of Northern Macedonia. Albania has certain conditions to start accession negotiations, such as the adoption of reforms of the judicial system, a new electoral law, the opening of trials for corrupt judges and respect for human rights for its Greek minority.   In 2000, Albania was officially recognised as a «potential candidate country» by the EU and began negotiating a Stabilization and Association Agreement (ASA) in 2003. This agreement was successfully concluded and signed on 12 June 2006, which enabled Albania to take the first major step towards full membership of the EU. Albania applied to join the European Union on 28 April 2009.