Albania is divided into 12 administrative counties. These counties include 36 districts and 373 municipalities. 72 municipalities have city status (Albanian: qytet). There are overall 2980 villages/communities in all Albania. Each district has its council which is composed of a number of municipalities. The municipalities are the first level of local governance, responsible for local needs and law enforcement.
The Albanian republic is a parliamentary democracy established under a constitution renewed in 1998. Elections are held every four years to a unicameral 140-seat chamber, the People's Assembly. In June 2002, a compromise candidate, Alfred Moisiu, former Army General, was elected to succeed President Rexhep Meidani. Parliamentary elections in July 2005 brought Sali Berisha, an ex-Albanian communist party member, back to power as leader of the Democratic Party. The current president Bamir Topi was elected by Parliament in July 2007.
The Euro-Atlantic integration of Albania has been the ultimate goal of the post-communist governments. Albania's EU membership bid has been set as a priority by the European Commission.
Albania, along with Croatia, joined NATO on 1 April 2009, becoming the 27th and 28th members of the alliance.
The workforce of Albania has continued to migrate to Greece, Italy, Germany, other parts of Europe, and North America. However, the migration flux is slowly decreasing, as more and more opportunities are emerging in Albania itself as its economy steadily develops.