FPN (Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, Serbia) and ELIAMEP coordinated and conducted a networking visit with key migration related institutions in Albania in the context of the H2020 project MIGREC. The main outcome of this project will be the creation of migration related research center in Belgrade, Serbia.

The visit took place in Tirana from 4 to 7 April 2022, led by Stefan Surlić, Assistant Professor at FPN, Panagiotis Paschalidis, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Western Macedonia and ELIAMEP Research Fellow, Alexandros Koutras, Project Manager at the South-East Europe Programme of ELIAMEP. These networking meetings involved governance (State and international), civil society and academia while their main purpose was to facilitate the exchange of knowledge at a regional, Western Balkan level and to promote the MIGREC project by exploring possibilities for future synergies and cooperation.

The team conducted in total five meetings with the following personalities:  

  • Dr. Kosta Barjaba, Academic; Member of the Academy of Sciences of Albania; Chief of Staff to the Speaker of Parliament of Albania  
  • Dr. Joniada Barjaba, Director, Ministry of Finance and Economy of Albania  
  • Dr. Ilir Gedeshi, Academic; Director, Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS)
  • Mrs. Sara Zekaj, Project Associate, Palladium 
  • Mr. Genci Pjetri, Program Coordinator and Developer, IOM Albania  

The discussions focused on the regional migration developments in Albania and the Western Balkans, such as inward and outward migration (as well as internal and seasonal), brain drain, the engagement of diaspora and asylum seekers. The migration strategies implemented (or planned) on state-level were also discussed as well as the role of the civil society and international organizations in dealing with migration issues both in Albania and the Western Balkans in general. The stakeholders shared recommendations for MIGREC networking opportunities.