Monday, July 6, 2020

In the last decade, almost half of Albanians have immigrated to the EU



 During the period 2008-2018, 44 percent of the Albanian population migrated to the European Union, taking the lead in the Western Balkan region, according to local media.

According to the latest report by the European Policy Institute of Kosovo, a total 1,249,706 Albanian citizens migrated to the EU during the ten-year period, 16 percent of whom were found to be illegally present in the EU – more than the number of citizens of all other countries put together.

The report notes that Albania leads the region, by far, in all three categories of migration; during 2008-2018, a total of 451,015 citizens of Albania were found to be illegally present in the EU – this is more than the number of citizens of all other countries put together. To put it differently, 16 percent of Albania's population were found to be present illegally in the EU during 2008-2018. Albania also led the region with 622,171 citizens who received first time residence permit in the EU, which represents 39 percent of the entire region.

Furthermore, Albania led the region in the number of entry refusals in the EU. During 2008-2018, 332,470 Western Balkans citizens were refused entry into the EU, 170,450 of whom were from Albania. This is more than the citizens of the entire region put together.

On the other hand, migration numbers in the rest countries of the region are significantly less staggering; 30 percent of the Kosovo population migrated to EU, only 6 percent in Montenegro, 12 percent in North Macedonia, 8 percent in Serbia and 9 percent in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

However data from the report is based on the number of asylum applications, which means that the real number could be much larger.

According to the European Agency for Asylum (EASO) report, Albania continued to be among the top ten countries with the highest number of asylum seekers in Europe in 2019. Albania ranked behind Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Nigeria in the number of asylum applications. 

The decline in births and natural population growth in Albania, year after year, is seen as a worrying phenomenon by demographic researchers. They have constantly warned that the country is in a "demographic emergency" and have sought intervention measures, especially to curb immigration and improve the economic and social conditions of Albanian families.