United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

National Strategy on Migration and Action Plan 2019-2022

International Organization for Migration (
Government
)
    Description
    Intro

    The National Strategy on Migration and its Action Plan 2019-2022 represent an important step towards the accomplishment of the national and international commitments of the Government of Albania in the field of migration and the SDG target 10.7 specifically. The need to have such document came as a result of the need for a cross-sectorial approach towards migration governance, to address the challenges and to maximize as much as possible the impact of migration as an accelerator for the achievement of the SDGs in Albania.

    Description

    The main objective of this practice was to advance identify bottlenecks and accelerators related to migration and sustainable development and identify concrete priorities through an Action Plan aligned with national development strategies. Migration is a crucial element in Albania’s social and economic development context, both in light of the large proportion of Albanian citizens abroad (approximately one third of its population) and the strong dependency on migrant remittances. Albania is also considered a country of origin, transit and destination for migrants, including economic migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. In order to address challenges related to complex migration flows, as well as enhance the development impact of migration, a cross-cutting approach to migration governance, properly addressing both in- and outward migration, is required. As of 2010, upon the completion of the implementation of the first National Strategy on Migration (2005-2010), the country lacked a coherent migration governance policy to guide the government’s programmatic actions on migration.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The action contributed to Albania’s efforts to achieve the SDG Target 10.7 to facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. It did so by providing expert support for the development of the new migration governance policy.

    Implementation methodologies

    The formulation of the strategy was supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by the IOM Development Fund. The strategy and action plan are guided by the Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF). The document sets out the essential elements to support planned and well-managed migration. As such, it is the first and only internationally agreed document outlining how migration is best governed in a coherent and comprehensive manner. More importantly, MiGOF acts as the reference point for governments in developing and assessing “well-managed migration policies” under the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator (10.7.2). To facilitate the process of formulating a new migration strategy in the country, the Government of Albania in early 2018 took part in the roll out of the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) process, elaborated by IOM in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which offered insights on policy levers that Albania can action to strengthen migration governance and thereby positively impact sustainable development goals. Migration governance training for the members of the Inter-Institutional Working Group for the development of the Strategy was also provided. The goal of the policy is to effectively govern migration in Albania to address challenges resulting from migratory movements and to enhance the development impact of migration to the benefit of migrants and the Albanian society. The Strategy and Action Plan define a wide range of actions across four main domains: • Ensure strategic governance of migration in Albania - Align national legal framework with EU and international framework on migration governance - Enhance institutional capacities for migration governance - Improve coordination mechanisms for migration governance - Enhance partnerships for migration governance • Ensure safe and orderly migration from, through and to Albania - Effectively address irregular movements at the country’s borders and inside the territory of Albania - Improve effectiveness of return mechanisms for foreign citizens - Efficiently respond to irregular migration of Albanian citizens in EU Member States - Management of mixed flows • Develop an effective labour migration policy while enhancing the positive impact of migration in the national/local socioeconomic development - Ensure an effective labour migration policy framework - Facilitate seasonal and circular migration for Albanian citizens - Maximize the impact of migration on national and local development • Promote and protect migrants’ rights and their integration - Ensure that a comprehensive non-discrimination framework effectively protects migrants’ rights - Identify migrants as a vulnerable category in programming and delivering assistance - Improve conditions for migrants’ socioeconomic and cultural integration - Provide durable legal solutions for migrants Support to further strengthening migration legislation was also provided through a review of the legislation in place, making necessary legislative amendments or for developing new provisions, as appropriate.

    Results

    The National Strategy on Migration 2019-2022 and Action Plan were the main outputs of the project and are since then guiding the countries engagement on migration and sustainable development. Furthermore, it allowed to strengthen migration governance in Albania by supporting and training the inter-institutional Working Group that was set up for the development and implementation of the Strategy, which contributed the increase of capacities and sustainability of the intervention. At the governmental level, the act of developing the strategy has therefore created a new governance structure and has built capacity to develop, implement and monitor the policy. This also positively impacted migration legislation, in particular through technical support to the Law on Emigration of Albanian Citizens for Employment Purposes and Law on Aliens. The action was highly relevant to the government of Albania (GoA). The project objective was fully aligned to the Government’s strategic priorities in terms of Albania’s position as an accession EU country. The National Strategy on Migration and Action Plan, 2019-2022, directly addresses the migration ‘policy void’ of the previous eight years and integrates it into the broader national and local development and policy planning processes. The project produced excellent results. The resulting strategy is of a high quality and was developed in a consultative and participatory manner. The strength of the strategy is that it is complemented with an action plan outlining clear responsibilities for different government institutions, and an agreed budget, timetable and monitoring system strongly indicating government commitment to implementation.

    Factors and Constraints

    The project has been successful because it ensured the whole of government engagement and commitment to migration and sustainable development, promoting alignment with institutional areas of work, international standards and obligations of Albania on migration governance, as well as opportunities for leveraging migration for sustainable development. Challenges now stay with the implementation of the Strategy through continuous budget allocation and resource mobilization.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The development of the migration governance policy and its action plan represent a key achievement, as it lays the foundations for future pursuits of the GoA in migration governance and sustainable development. Through its official endorsement, the GoA demonstrated full ownership and commitment to implement it, beyond the project lifetime. In addition, the recognition of migrants as an important potential contributor to the development of Albania, has stimulated the Government to incorporate migration in the National Strategy on Development and Integration. This is a clear sign of the government commitment to develop and implement a migration governance policy. Finally, the project strengthened the capacities of the officials across various line ministries in migration management. The migration governance training targeted precisely those officials who will were part of the working group tasked with drafting the policy and its corresponding action plan, and to monitoring their implementation.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The strategy was developed back in 2018 and does not include any specific reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, COVID-19 impact is regularly taken into account during the implementation of the Action Plan measures. For example, in the implementation of the project “Strengthening Labour Migration Framework in Albania”, currently being implemented by IOM Albania with IDF funding, COVID-19 impact to labour migration dynamics will be assessed, also with the view to include related aspects under the ethical recruitment framework, including special guidance for labour recruiters in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
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    Timeline
    01 January 2019 (start date)
    31 December 2022 (date of completion)
    Partners
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    SDGs
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    Countries
    Albania
    Albania
    Contact Information

    Genci, Program Coordinator