The Albanian state is more and more strengthening its ties with the Diaspora living outside of its territory. Thus, besides the first Summit of the Diaspora, the creation of the National Agency of the Diaspora or the start of a process to register expatriates wherever they are in order for them to vote too, Albania has also drafted a special bill on the Diaspora. The essence of this bill is the protection of Albanians outside the country’s borders and the promotion of their participation in the life of their country of origin, based on the positive influence that the Diaspora has on the economic, political and cultural development of the country. “In this context, this bill is proposed for the drafting of a new legal framework, which will support the development of the relations with the Diaspora, in order for it to become a stronger voice”, experts who have drafted this bill say. Meanwhile, they say that time has come to build a stronger institutional relation between Albania and its Diaspora, the same way it exists in other countries of the region such as Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, etc, through the preservation of identity, strengthening of relations with their Diaspora and its involvement in the political, economic and social life of the country where they come from. “The right of vote for this part of Albanians should be guaranteed in the countries where they live”, is another important part of the project, adding that the aim is to register this part of the population in order to facilitate their civil and political rights in the countries where they live.
An entire “hoard” of institutions in Albania serving the interests of the Diaspora
The number of institutions planned to be set up for the Diaspora may be considered as a real “hoard”. Under the bill for the Diaspora, besides a responsible ministry and the National Agency, the state is also planning to set up a number of cultural centers for the Diaspora. “These centers will play a special role in the development of tasks needed to preserve national identity, culture and the language of the Diaspora and to strengthen its ties with the institutions of Albania”, the government’s project states. Meanwhile, the bill says that the setting up of the Diaspora’s Coordinating Council also occupies an important place. This council will be the institution that will represent and coordinate relations with the Diaspora. “The novelty of this forum is that it will have include members from the United States of America, Canada, Europe, etc”, experts explain.
18 December, National Diaspora Day
Albanian authorities have also assigned a special day to the Diaspora, a day which will commemorate that part of Albania living abroad. 18 December will mark a special day throughout the year as it will be filled with activities on the Diaspora and on all those Albanian expatriates who live overseas. Meanwhile, inside the National History Museum there will be a special pavillion on the Diaspora. The Albanian Radio and Television Network will also have a special channel which will broadcast programs for the Diaspora.
According to the new government project, it includes: a)early Albanian communities in the world; b) every person who was born in Albania and lives outside of its borders; c) every person of Albanian roots born outside the borders of Albania, who maintains linguistic, cultural and traditional ties and who wants to preserve ties with Albania.
Albanian Diaspora in Europe with the largest number of representatives
“3 representatives from the Albanian Diaspora in the United States of America; 2 from Canada’s Diaspora, 6 from Europe’s Diaspora; 1 from Turkey’s Diaspora and 1 from Australia’s Diaspora”. This will be the composition of the representatives of the Albanian Diaspora in the Special Council which will be set up for it. The ranking somehow shows the importance assigned by the Albanian state to each of them, putting at the top of the list the Albanian Diaspora living in the old continent; namely, in countries such as Greece or Italy, where many Albanians have been living and working for several decades. Every representative’s job is to push forward the National Strategy for the Relations with the Diaspora, but at the same time, also fulfill the mission of the Albanian language. “The holding of the learning process and the selection of teachers in respective countries, where the Diaspora lives and works, are regulated by the Council of Ministers”, the abovementioned bill says.