Albanians in the world

Albanians in the world

Public Hearing for Diaspora

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diaspora Sector, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing the project "Harnessing the positive impact of migration for the development of Albania", funded by the IOM Development Fund.
 
The project aims at supporting the efforts of the Albanian government in the process of engaging Albanian communities abroad to contribute to the economic, social and political development of the country.
 
One of the most important outcomes of the project is to develop (draft) a political document and action plan in order to structure the engagement of Albanian communities abroad in the economic, social and political development of Albania.
 
The document is believed to be oriented to the following topics:
 
Diaspora and youth engagement
Diaspora and culture / tourism
Diapora role in increasing investment
Transfer of Diaspora skills
Student exchanges / University Network
Diaspora and innovation
Diaspora involvement in social, economic and political issues
Diaspora and Marketing / Communication
Diaspora return programs
Diaspora and gender aspects
Diaspora Professional Networks (i.e. doctors, architects, etc.).
Diaspora Philanthropy.
 
The document is in the preliminary stage of its development, with input from all stakeholders.
 
In view of drafting a document which would include the opinion of all relevant stakeholders, we invite You to contribute by providing some feedback and expressing your viewpoints on initiatives dealing with the commitment of Albanian communities abroad in the above-mentioned fields, as well as on other aspects which may be included in this important document, to the following e-mail address:  diaspora@mfa.gov.al
The deadline for sending your feedback is May 20, 2016

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The Albanian Diaspora, historical and new, represents a unique case. Compared to the population in the country of origin, in ethnic territories, it is among the largest in the world. But, in terms of its geographic dimension, it reaches almost all inhabited continents. In total, it counts several million people, concentrated mainly in Turkey, USA, Greece, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Argentina, etc.

The phenomenon of Albanian migration abroad is not recent. It is documented at least since the fifteenth and sixteenth century, with the departure of a large number of Albanian territory residents, especially from the south of the country, after the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula from the Ottoman Empire and the death of Skanderbeg.
 
The result of these migratory flows was the formation of important Albanian settlements in southern Italy, Greece, on the coast of Dalmatia and elsewhere. The most prominent model is the Arbëresh community located in Sicily and Calabria.

During the following centuries, until the establishment of an independent Albanian state in 1912, migratory processes continued in the form of "interior" movements, from Albanian lands to other regions of the Ottoman Empire or neighboring countries, which, over time, won their autonomy or independence from the Sublime Porte.

These movements led to the creation and consolidation of relatively important Albanian communities in regions of present-day Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Bulgaria, Romania and others.

The period coinciding with the beginning of the 20th century and, in particular, the establishment of the Albanian state, brought a change in migration routes. Emigration to Turkey still continued, mainly for the sake of existing ties with people residing there, but with all the range of multiple problems leading to the fall of the Empire, it was no longer a preferred ground for emigration.

Therefore, Albanians shifted their attention towards the United States, Argentina, Australia and moderately, to some European countries (France, Austria, Italy).
 
Political emigration represented a special contingent, which left Albania as a result of its hostile stance and activities towards the regime of Zog, and after the end of World War II.

The time frame between 1945-1990 marked an almost complete absence of the migratory phenomena.

Emigration reappeared in Albania in July 1990. In the last two decades, around 25 percent of the country’s total emigrated, or about 35 percent of the active population.
According to approximate data, around 1 million 400 thousand Albanian citizens currently live and work abroad. The majority, around 70-75 percent, is located in two countries: Greece and Italy; among them, Greece ranks first in the total number of our emigration in the world. Around 500 thousand Albanians live in Italy.
 
In general, the trend of Albanian emigrants over the years has been oriented towards the most developed countries of Western Europe (Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, United Kingdom etc.), as well as the United States and Canada.
 
The geographic distribution of Albanian emigrants in host countries is dictated by the demands of the labor market. In Greece and Italy, for example, Albanian emigrants are located almost everywhere in these countries’ territories, with a greater concentration in main cities.