Albania (en-us-Albania.ogg /ælˈbeɪniə/ (help·info) al-BAY-nee-ə, Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria, Gheg Albanian: Shqipnia/Shqypnia), officially known as the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë, pronounced [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]), is a country in South Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo[a] to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. 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 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of the Islamic Conference and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.
Albania is a parliamentary democracy and a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to approximately 607,467 of the country's 3.6 million people, and it is also the financial capital of the country. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Newsweek ranked Albania 57 out of 100 Best Countries in the World in 2010.