45% of Albanians have left Albania to neighboring countries or the European Union from 2012 to date. More than one-third of the population, or 1.44 million Albanians, of the 3.2 million Albanians living in Albania, have migrated and now live abroad, mainly in Greece and Italy. According to the Diaspora strategy data, neighboring countries such as Italy and Greece are the main destinations where Albanians have emigrated.
Referring to the figures of “People Movin” in Greece live about 677 thousand Albanians, while in Italy 523 thousand Albanians. These data are reflected in the Ministry of Diaspora’s draft strategy for the strategy 2021–2025, which was launched for public consultation a few days ago, and aims to develop a legal safeguard framework to enable the integration of their diaspora into the society, guaranteeing the right to vote.
The strategy also lists factors of population displacement in other countries of the region and the European Union, such as economic factors, public security, weak institutions and blood feuds. But what is considered worrying is the flight of graduates, since in the early 2000s, about 60% of graduates in the West had either left the country or had not returned after graduation.
According to a document from the Ministry of Diaspora, the “loss” of qualified and educated people is devastating for the country’s socio-economic development. However, despite the departure of Albanians is a major problem, remittances have been extremely high as remittances alone amounted to 592m euros in 2014 and 616m euros in 2016.
The National Strategy aims to strengthen the role of the Diaspora in the development of the country through the wealth they bring, such as knowledge, expertise and experience. The core value that this document seeks to achieve is to build trust between the Diaspora and the state institutions of Albania.