Migrants - article illustration
Albania has a population of 2.8 million people, but nearly 40% of them have left the country since the fall of communism in 1991. The government’s failure to invest in alternative industries following the collapse of communism has left many people without jobs, which has led to a constant exodus from cities, towns, and villages across the country. Corruption is widespread in Albania, and most public employment is based on patronage rather than competence.

The recent wave of migration from Albania has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a massive effect on people’s welfare, employment, and savings. The government offered very little support for people who were struggling, and the World Bank estimated that during the pandemic, about 22% of Albania’s population were below the poverty line. The EU’s slow progress in the accession process with Albania has also contributed to the country’s economic struggles, and despite negotiations only beginning in 2022, there has been no improvement in the country’s economy.

The lack of reliable data on the number of citizens who have moved away makes it challenging to assess all the causes of the recent wave of migration. Still, the situation in Albania emphasizes the failure of both the government and the EU to provide better living conditions and invest in alternative industries that could prevent the constant exodus of people from the country. More support from the EU could transform Albania into a healthier liberal democracy and prevent the further decline of cities, towns, and villages across the country.

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