About the Symposium

The migration phenomenon is a worldwide critical issue with different shapes that challenge and affect countries in various ways. Academia, Policymakers and NGOs constantly seek not only to understand the nature and causes of migration but also to find tangible solutions to this phenomenon. The Balkan regions in general and Albania in particular are not exempted from the impact of the migration. For instance, the migration issue in Albania is characterised by the intense international emigration of the local population. According to a United Nations population report, from 1990 to 2020, approximately 1.2 million people left Albania, or one in three of the country’s residents is abroad. INSTAT statistics indicate that the number of the diaspora in 2020 is estimated to be about 1.7 million or about 37% of Albanian citizens living abroad. The largest concentration of Albania nationals is in Italy (43%), followed by Greece (35%), the US (8%), Germany (6%), and the UK (3%).

These data may also hide more migrants from Albania since many people migrate irregularly. The 2021 figures from Eurostat show that during the period 2014-2021, while Albania has the highest number of legal migrants (401,931 people), it also reveals the highest number of people staying irregularly in EU countries (276,650), as well as the highest number of requests for asylum (207,815). Kosovo is the second country experiencing a high level of migration (both regular and irregular). However, all the Balkan countries have considerable figures when it comes to migration except Montenegro, which reveals the lowest figures. The most concerning aspect of Albanian migration is that the group aspiring to leave the country is between 18 and 34 (about 80 thousand), the most productive part of the population regarding employment and fertility.

This trend is equally confirmed by the fact that at the regional level, Albania has the highest emigration rate (28%) and the most extensive stock in the Western Balkans. According to the OECD report in 2022, emigration for employment purposes marked an increase of 120% in 2019 compared to 2011, while emigration for study reasons signalled a rise of 150% in 2019 compared to the period 2013-2018 with Austria, US, Italy, and Turkey being the top destination for Albanian students. Furthermore, the 2020s have been characterised by increased new mobilities, notably return, transnational, circular/seasonal, and new migratory routes with crisis- affected Albanian migrants moving to other countries of the EU and the UK to find better socio-economic prospects.

Other countries in the Balkan region experience a similar situation in one way or another. Mainly, young people prefer to migrate to Western European countries for several reasons, such as a better education or job opportunity. As in Albania’s case, this situation negatively affects these countries’ demographic structures and causes policymakers to worry about the future.

The symposium aims to address the challenges of new mobility that the Balkan region in general and Albania in particular face in managing the outgoing migration associated with losing its most dynamic human capital and managing the migrants that use the Balkan region and Albania as a transitory route to reach Europe. This Symposium will address the key legal, educational, and socio-political challenges of a new era of mobilities characterising the Balkan region, mainly focusing on Albania. The symposium’s scientific contribution will be published as a “Book of Proceedings” and a Political Report with recommendations. The programme of this Symposium is structured around five thematic panels.

Organised by:

University of New York Tirana
Institute of European and Balkan Studies

Scientific Cordinator:

Assoc. Prof. Eda Gemi

Organizing Committee:

Prof. Dr. Birol Akgün
Prof. Dr. Ali Güneş
Assoc. Prof. Mirela Bogdani
Prof. Dr. Fatos Tarifa
Assoc. Prof. Juna Miluka
Assoc. Prof. Enila Cenko
Assoc. Prof. Ilir Kalemaj
Assoc. Prof. Ines Nurja
Dr. Sokol Lleshi
Dr. Rıza Feridun Elgün


University of New York Tirana, East Campus


18 – 19 April 2024

Title of keynote: “Albania and the Migration–Development Nexus”

Title of keynote: “Brain Drain: Who is Leaving Albania and Why? A Comparative Historical Perspective”

Title of keynote: “Emigration effect in population dynamics in Albania 1990-2023”

Title: Brain gain versus brain drain why the latter continues to predominate in Albania?”

Title: “Labor market reintegration strategies of Albanian return migrants from Greece: The role of human and social capital ”

Title: “Can high-commitment HRM practices mitigate employee emigration intentions? Evidence from a developing country”

Title: “The Negative Diaspora’ and its Geo-Political Implications for Turkey in the Case of North America”

Title: “Onward Mobility in Southeast Europe: Multiple trajectories of SecondGeneration Albanians from Greece and Italy in 2020”

Title: “Diaspora Politics: an overview of its typologies and the Albanian case”

Title: “Albanian migrants in the secondary labour market: opportunities and barriers”

Title: “The promotion of the Albanian economic development through the diaspora: Institutional perspectives”

Title: “Can love be transferred? Albanian migration and the meaning of remittances”

Title: “Legal normative perspectives on the Albanian diaspora voting in general elections”

Title: “Bosnia and Herzegovina Diaspora Engagement Policies: Beyond Remittances and Investments?”

Title: “Migration: The Legal, Educational and Socio-Political Challenges and Opportunities in the Balkan Region with a Special Focus on Albania”

Title: “Brain Drain Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Young and Educated Migration from Balkans to Turkey and the EU”

Title: “Navigating Albania’s Migration Landscape: Trends, Challenges, and Paths Forward”

Title: “Migration Venues for Economic Development”

Title: “Realities and perspectives of Venezuelan migration in Latin America and the Caribbean. Colombian Case”

Title: An Analysis of Migration Profiles, Experiences and Routes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2020-2023)

Title: “Socio-Economic Factors that Influence the Albanian Migration”

Title: “Albanian migration dynamics: Evaluating the elderly care challenges”

Title: “Migration route from Africa to the Mediterranean: case of sub-saharan migrants”

Pictures and Media of the Symposium will be uploaded here after the symposium is finished.

Contact Info:

Dr. Sokol Lleshi
Head of European Research Center

Email: sokollleshi@unyt.edu.al

Symposium 2022

Symposium 2023

Conference in Business Research & Management (BRM)