Young people speak up about youth migration in Albania

Article, 01.10.2019

With support from the Swiss Embassy in Tirana the National Youth Congress conducted an assessment of what motivates Albania’s youth to emigrate or to stay in the country

Staff from the National Youth Congress with Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître at the presentation of youth migration study
Staff from the National Youth Congress with Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître at the presentation of the youth migration study. © FDFA

Findings from the latest study on youth migration were presented and discussed with representatives from several youth organisations and the Embassy of Switzerland at the Tirana Times Library.

“What is often happening in political discourse is 'Speaking in the name of', by often neglecting the complexity of the target and its realistic needs. This “mirroring initiative” will serve as a bottom-up scanning process of real and even unspoken challenges that young people are facing in two main dimensions: economic empowerment and political representation as the two main drivers of migration.” said Dafina Peci, director of National Youth Congress who conducted the study.

Among the key findings, the study reveals that there is an urgent need to revitalize the youth potential through local and communitarian incentives and cross sectorial cooperation. As the unemployment was rated as the most pressing challenge of Albanian youth, the research emphasizes the mismatch between labour market needs in terms of fields and skills and what educational system offers. For young people in Albania, public institutions are not revealed as a reliable partner, therefore, a new dialogue strategy among these two actors is needed.

One of the youth experts who collaborated in the study – Lorela Marku – said that in every important transformative reform or initiative, which tackles young people, their involvement must be foreseen and enabled. This is how we ensure the youth voice in all the stages of policy-making.

Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître in his closing remarks stated: “I congratulate the National Youth Congress for the comprehensive diagnosis, which is broadly in line with our context analysis but also for the concrete recommendations you shared with us. I like very much your recommendations on more youth participation and engagement in public affairs, on introducing voluntary or community work for students and on more and better information to citizens on key reforms by Albanian authorities”.

This initiative from youth organisations involved young experts and questioned 600 young people to identify the reasons for migration. Respondents were asked about the way institutions support – or do not support – youth in Albania, and what drives migration.

Youth migration is currently a hot topic in Albania with 65% of students expressing an intention to emigrate and settle in Western countries. As the study showed, there are however young people who choose to stay and contribute to the development of the Albanian society.

This support from the Embassy of Switzerland is part of the efforts to improve the functioning of democratic institutions and the prosperity of the economy in Albania.