Open Doors for Diaspora
Tirana – In the light of the International Day of Migrants and Albanian Diaspora National Day, celebrated on 18 December, the event “Open Doors for Diaspora” was held. This was the final event of the programme “Engage Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania” and served to share the best practices and achievements as well as pave the way to further engagement with and through Albanian Diaspora members.
The event brought together high-level Albanian representatives such as Ms. Megi Fino, the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ms. Vasilika Vjero, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. Alberto Petrangeli, First Counsellor of the Embassy of Italy in Tirana, Ms. Fiona McCluney, UN Albania Resident Coordinator, Ms. Laura Lungarotti, IOM Western Balkans Sub-Regional Coordinator, Albanian Diaspora highly skilled researchers and experts and representatives of other partner institutions of the Diaspora Programme.
The Diaspora entails great potential for Albania’s development. According to INSTAT, nearly 1.7 million Albanians live outside the country, mostly in Europe, but also with a significant presence in North America (the US and Canada) as well as other regions.
That is why IOM Albania, with the support of the Ministry for Europe for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in close coordination with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Economy and other relevant government stakeholders, supported the multidimensional engagement of Diaspora by implementing the Diaspora Programme from October 2017 to Dec 2021.
“There are about 500 thousand Albanian citizens living in our country. The Albanian Diaspora has always been a model of union between our two countries. And the Albanian Diaspora today contributes strongly to the Italian economy. Italy knows the political, economic and cultural importance of the Diaspora and its added value, both for the host country and for the country of origin. And for this reason, we decided to support this project of involving the Albanian Diaspora in the socio-economic development of the country and in achieving the objectives of sustainable development,” Mr. Alberto Petrangeli, First Counsellor of the Embassy of Italy in Tirana.
“I can proudly say that the programme set up and piloted several successful models and approaches which can and should be replicated in the future by pursuing and boosting diaspora engagement for the development of Albania,” said Ms. Laura Lungarotti, IOM Western Balkans Sub-Regional Coordinator.
When the IOM Diaspora Programme started in Albania, remittances were among the most important financial aspects of the diaspora. But this programme showed that the impact of Diaspora goes beyond remittances, by building a meaningful engagement of the Albanian Diaspora, which contributed to the know–how transfer, institutional strengthening, territorial development and economic impact.
“This successful project ensued significant support to the state administration in strengthening his working capacity with and for our Diaspora in line with state policies and comprehensive approach of the Albanian government to attract and promote Diaspora Contributions the country’s development which is also emphasized in the National Diaspora Strategy 2021-2025,” stated Ms. Megi Fino, the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
“There is an intense desire in us to do something for our country.” shares Ersi N. Bozheku, an expert from the Albanian Diaspora in Italy.
Numerous important achievements have been reached to date under the programme, ranging from policy support to capacity building, data collection, fellowships, and investments [summary of the Diaspora Programme Achievements].
“The Ministry of Finance has been extremely involved in this project. I would like to thank IOM for all the support given to the Ministry of Finance and Economy and its all dependent institutions to implement the Diaspora National Strategy, as well on the harmonization of current legislation in the field of taxes and customs as part of EU acquis chapters for Albanian integration process to EU,” highlighted Ms. Vasilika Vjero, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy during her opening remarks.
IOM Albania believes that this programme has opened the doors and identified good practices for the future engagement of Albanian Diaspora, more focused on the EU integration process, strengthening the Albanian institutions and improving the lives of the most disadvantaged communities through territorial development.
During the event “Opening Doors for Diaspora”, IOM Albania invited all the international partners and the Albanian Government to join efforts on working together to further intensify diaspora engagement for the development of Albania.
“The Diaspora has its mind and soul in Albania. This is a link that should be strengthened through the right mechanisms for engagement and make diaspora a direct contributor in the development of our home country,” says Edita Fino, a researcher from the Albanian Diaspora in Italy.
For more information, please contact IOM Albania at Tel: +355 4 2257836-7, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org