The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce a public lecture by Bujar Nishani, current president of the Republic of Albania, on September 29. His lecture, titled “Albania: Emerging Democracy towards the European Union,” will focus on the democratic transformation in the Southeast European country over the past two decades as it transitioned from a socialist state to a candidate for membership in the European Union, as well as government measures to ensure European integration and obstacles to success. Additional topics will include religious freedom within Albania, regional security in the Balkans, and the role students can play in advancing democratic principles worldwide.

His Excellency Bujar Nishani has served as President of Albania since July 2012. He has been an active member of the Democratic Party since 1991, and his career highlights include serving as Minister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, Member of Parliament, and Director of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Defense. A native of Durrës, Albania, President Nishani studied at the Skanderbeg Military Academy, where he later taught. He studied defense resources management in the United States, and earned a law degree from Tirana University. In 2005, President Nishani completed a master’s degree in European Studies at Tirana University’s School of European Studies.

The lecture will take place on Monday, September 29, 2014, at 4:00 PM at Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI. Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture will be presented by the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, with support from the Center for European Studies and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) combines academics with practical applications, promoting scholarship to better understand the conditions and policies that foster the transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance, past and present. It also educates new generations of practitioners who can apply their learning and experience to help extend democratic freedoms. Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCED began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit


Contact: Rachel Brichta
Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies
Phone: 734.764.0351