Albanian Diaspora, Mind and Soul

Pictured during the “Open doors for Diaspora”  Laura Lungarotti, IOM Western Balkans Sub-Regional Coordinator; Alberto Petrangeli, First Counsellor of the Embassy of Italy in Tirana; Megi Fino, the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs; Alma Jani, IOM Albania Head of Office, Vasilika Vjero, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy and Fiona McCluney, UN Albania Resident Coordinator]

 “The Diaspora has its mind and soul in Albania. This is the link that should be strengthened through the right mechanisms for engagement and make diaspora as a direct contributor in the development of our home country,” says Edita Fino, an Albanian Diaspora member in Italy.

In the light of the International Day of Migrants and Albanian Diaspora National Day, we reflect on the achievements and best practices of the four – year programme “Engage Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania”.

To celebrate the journey of the Diaspora Programme and pave the way to further engagement with and through Albanian Diaspora members, IOM Albania held a programme closing event “Open Doors for Diaspora”.

The event brought together high-level Albanian representatives such as Megi Fino, the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Vasilika Vjero, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Alberto Petrangeli, First Counsellor of the Embassy of Italy in Tirana, Fiona McCluney, UN Albania Resident Coordinator, 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, with nearly 1.7 million Albanians living outside the country, mostly in Europe, but also with a significant presence in North America (the US and Canada). That is why IOM Albania with the funding support from the Italian Government contributed to creating an environment that supports Diaspora multidimensional engagement.

Over four years IOM, through the Diaspora Programme, assisted over 20 Albanian Government Institutions focused on diaspora engagement with technical expertise, trainings, resources, technology solutions, strategic document development. The programme enaged over 40 experts who supported the Albanian goverment institutions in Italy and Albania. In addition, 38 highly skilled Diaspora members from Italy, Belgium, UK, France, Portugal, Switzerland, USA, Germany, Turkey Canada, Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg contributed to the integration process of Albania in the EU.

The Diaspora Programme facilitated the engagement of the Albanian Diaspora into institutional strengthening and territorial development through skills and know-how transfer. Through and with the engagment of the diaspora it was developed “Mapping and Profiling the Albanian Diaspora” Research in  five Italian regions and an overview in France and Belgium, as well as  “Five Albanian Villages” -  Guidelines for a Sustainable Tourism Development through the Enhancement of the Cultural Heritage.  Furthermore, Connect Albania, an innovative investment boosting mechanism, was created and launched, which engaged over 20 certified Development Agents aiming to boost the investment in the home country.

“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 Laura Lungarotti, IOM Western Balkans Sub-Regional Coordinator.


For more information, please contact IOM Albania at Tel: +355 4 2257836-7, Email:  

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