A combination of energetic advocacy by civil society and the granting of European Union Candidate Status in 2014 resulted in important recent gains for civil society organisations in Albania. Regulation of the sector has been improved because of laws that provide better safeguards for civic space, including progressive rules for peaceful public gatherings. Recent proposals to reintroduce custodial sentences for defamation caused a strong reaction from rights groups, who saw it as potentially increasing self-censorship within a media that is already heavily influenced by political and business interests.