Date: 19 March 2018, Tirana

Focus: Security and Illegal Migration Policies 

On March 19th 2018, the Foundation “Qemal Stafa” organized its first Panel Discussion, focused on adapting the Albanian legislation with the EU Acquis.

Moderated by the Executive Director of the “Foundation Qemal Stafa”, ms.Teuta Vodo, the discussion was conducted under the topic “Security and Illegal Migration Policies”.

The panelists who offered their approach to the topic were Ms. Rovena Voda, the Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs; Ms. Evis Fico, lawyer and immigration expert and Mr. Gledis Gjipali, the Executive Director of European Movement Albania.

The panel discussion was focused on the migrant crisis, which has caught the attention of the European Union. Until 2016, more than 2.3 million people have illegally passed the borders of the European Union member states.

Such a wave of migration, unexpected and combined with the overpopulation of the infrastructure brought about what we unfortunately are struggling to fight every day, the violation of human rights.

Ms. Rovena Voda, while sharing a part of her experience under the portfolio on Migration, Asylum and Citizenship, which she is in charge, stressed that “Albania has lacked for a long time a strategy for migration. The new Migration Strategy has been one of the recommendations mentioned in the Progress Report of the European Commission in 2016.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Evis Fico stressed that “As far as the legal framework is concerned, Albania has adopted all directives on migrants’ rights, has amended the law on foreigners to equally treat EU citizens on employment and social rights”.

In light of the positive and negative experiences that have come from the visa liberalization process, Mr. Gjipali pointed out that “Albania has had some advantages over other countries, but not always has exploited them; that is why it is important to take the visa liberalization process as an example on how can we use it in the current stage of European integration. Albania has been among the first countries in the region that has had an integrated border management strategy and has been favored over others because all the problems were addressed in an integrated way, those of security, the documents required when crossing borders, legislation, treatment of asylum seekers who come to Albania to stay permanently or who pass here temporarily to reach another country, as well as to be more accountable of illegal immigration flows.”

In conclusion Ms. Vodo said that this discussion is important for the mission of the Foundation “Qemal Stafa” as the think tank of the Socialist Party, which aims to design better policies to address certain problems.