Durres, Albania: 16 October 2017 – The emigration of Albanians toward the European Union (EU) after the visa liberalization in December 2014 was characterized by new trends. From 2014, EU member states have faced an increase in the number of asylum claims from Albanian citizens, the majority of whom are believed to be economic migrants and not individuals in need of international protection. Netherlands and Belgium are among the EU member states affected by the constant high influx of the asylum requests from the Albanian citizens (2011: 809 asylum requests; 2013: 487 asylum requests; 2014: 481 asylum requests).
In response to this situation, an information campaign on prevention of irregular migration from Albania to European Union, with special focus on the Netherlands, will be implemented by the IOM Mission in Albania during the period October 2017 - March 2018, with the support and direct engagement of Albanian authorities. It will complement other information and awareness raising activities that will be undertaken to inform Albanian citizens that irregular migration and asylum are not a strategy for economic migration, while encouraging vocation education and training and higher studies as advisable alternatives. Alternatives modalities for education, vocational training, employment in Albania, will be suggested to youth as alternative ways to build a sustainable future in Albania.
The campaign will also respond to the priorities of the Albanian Government for ensuring an effective response to migration management from Albania through better control of borders and respect of the visa liberalization regime between Albania and the European Union (Schengen zone), and especially Netherlands.