Research Paper (postgraduate) from the year 2009 in the subject Law - European and International Law, Intellectual Properties, grade: 1.0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, language: English, abstract: Albania, officially the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country located in South Eastern Europe. Albania is bordered by Greece to the southeast, Montenegro to the north, Kosovo to the northeast, and the Republic of Macedonia to the east. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 miles) far from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. The country is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organization, Organization of the Islamic Conference and Union for the Mediterranean.Albania is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and joined the NATO in April 2009.Albania is a parliamentary democracy and is considered a transition economy going in the direction of a full free market economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to more than 800,000 of the country's 3.6 million people, and it is also the financial capital of the country. The free-market reforms have contributed in opening the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure.