The European Commission (EC) will approve Albania’s request for EU candidate status this summer, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was quoted as saying by Albanian media on Wednesday (July 22nd). Tirana applied for candidate status in late April. “Albania’s early request cannot stay locked in a drawer … in Brussels. Countries from the Western Balkans cannot be excluded from the great process of the EU,” Frattini was quoted as saying. He added that Italy will try to organise a summit of Balkan leaders early next year to promote the countries’ accession bids.