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Ambassador Bashkim Rama

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  Albanian’s demography - an advanced value,

Albanian’s  demography - an advanced value, to live together, in a better Balkan.

The most outstanding analysts and diplomats, of the time, are finding out, more and more, on the connection and the interdependence, that exists between the demographic aspect and geopolitics, the great importance of this factor, in now days.

For its own specific, the place that it occupies, the extension, also the actual status of Albanian population, in the West Balkan, the connection and interdependence is not only obvious, but very important for the development in the region, for its peace and stability.

To understand the effect of this factor, I think that we must have in consideration, at least, two moments: the fact that, the presence of Albanian population constitutes a moving living amount of vitality in favor of the future of the region, and this last one despite of its old age it is included from a young spirit positive collaboration, contrary with the previous negative “tradition”.

The essence of this spirit, according to me, stands on the prosperity of our region, in the meaning that all the 55 million Balkans, situated in 300 thousand km2, to enjoy all their freedom and rights, to insure the same politic, economic and cultural  prosperity, like every other European. ( not as now that, the GDP average of a citizen of Balkan is 12 time lower than the GDP average of  an European citizen.)

The resolution of Kosovo status brings a specifically new situation in defining the Albanian issue in Balkan. The Kosovo independence, not only opens new perspectives in democratic developments in the peace of Kosovo, especially, but it gives also guaranty and security in the stability of the entire region, in general.

In this perception, the Albanian issue profits a new “standard” and I think that, it should be seen and analyzed in another point of view and in another new “optic”.

Aiming the last conclusive act of decadence process of ex- Yugoslavia, the end of the war, in the “separation – line” between Serbs and Albanians, that was expanded till in ethnic cleansing, damaging the last ones, marked a new historic stage, which send it in an unavoidable way towards

Kosovo independence, opening the only logic possibility: the equal coexistence of Albanians and Serbs in a multiethnic, European and democratic Kosovo.

So, it comes to an end to the major Albanian paradox issue, exploited and depressed from the Serb minority, in Kosovo, exchanging the responsible Albanian majority, to respect in maximum the rights and freedoms of Serb minority in a democratic coexistence.


  1. Demographic situation Albanian dynamic today.

Albanians live separated in some West Balkan states. They are a population that has passed 7.5 million habitants, classifying between 3 largest populations of this region.

The growth of the Albanian population continuous to be one of the largest populations in today Europe, tending to preserve the actual growth.

The average age of Albanian population is the youngest, in continent. About 60% of the population is under 26.5 years. This fact is reflected sensibly in the moving and emigration dynamic of this population.

Only from Albania state have emigrated, actually over 1 million people classifying Albania, for its population, in the first place in a world, for the number of emigrants. Almost all this contingent is housed to live and to work in the industrial developed countries of the world.

Starting from the fact that, one in three Albanian, able to work, lives and works in West, the Albanian economic, from year 1997 till now has profited a positive economic effect of 1.3 billion $, in a year. Comparing the budget terms of the country, this index almost have duplicated the incomes of the country.

As a result of this economic impact, only in the last eight years, in the Albanian coast are “discharged” about 5 billion $ of investments, with incomes which are mainly derive from emigration.

In addition to the natural values of the seaside and to the cultural-historic of the country such indexes have classified Albania, after European Agency of Tourism, among three countries with the highest touristic seaside perspective of the continent.






The previews demographic-economic statistic is still more attractive if we referred to the Albanian population in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Presheve Valley.

From these territories habited historically from native ethnic Albanians, the emigrations, for historic and political reasons, and for systematic repression has been very high. Almost half of Albanians of these territories lives and works emigration, mainly in west Europe, in USA and in Turkey.

It is understandable, this dynamic and very active emigration have played a major role in the economic, cultural and politic life of the Albanians in Balkan, affecting in economic strengthening, in their political and cultural emancipation and, of course, in internationalization of Albanian issue, in the world.

Analyzing, carefully, these demographic and dynamic processes can be concluded that actually in the world there are about 15 million active Albanian. The majority of them, so, over 60% are under the age of 26.5 year, with a lifespan over 72 years an with an increasing active percentage of natality.

In front of this situation the demographic factors of Albanians are and will remain, objectively, highly influenced in the geopolitics plan, for their future and for the future of other countries in the region.

Naturally, these factors can and should be addressed with positivism, as in Albanian benefit also to the region benefit, should be carefully consider, and accepted with realism and to leave space to the accommodation and integration way, in base of European ideas and values.

  1. Albanian demographic influence in Balkan geopolitics.

Starting from, not only the contemporaneous theories for this problem, but mostly from the dynamics in the Balkan territory, I think, the influence of Albanian demographic criterions in Balkan geopolitics is obvious, for some reasons:

  • The extension of Albanians in 6 main states of Balkan;

(Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia- Presheve Valley)

  • The increase of Albanian population, comparing with the number of the decrease of the other Balkan countries in region;

(the equal number Albanian and Greek population, Bulgarians, Serbs, actually, plus the increasing Albanian dynamic.)



  • The mobilization of Albanian population, inside and outside region;

(the moving frequency  of Albanians as one of persistent populations, moving toward Balkan, Europe, USA.)

  • The fast strengthening Albanian economy

(increasing of GDP, macroeconomic stability, emigrations incomes etc. )

  • The politic stability in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro;

(MSA, the advanced integration phases in NATO and EU.)

  • The improvement of Albanian status in emigration;

(the transformation of Albanian emigrants in citizens where they live and work: in Italy – 80 %, in Greece- 60 %, Germany, USA etc.)

  1. What affects in Albanian demographic influence in Balkan geopolitics and in the region prosperity?

Peace is among the primary factors for demographic standards in influence of geopolitics. The Balkan and its conflict experiences, (three wars in a century) with fatal consequences, with passive reminiscent tendencies, can tranquillize only a stable peace.

The stability affects also in geopolitics and demographic processes. For further more when it is known that the region has suffered for long time from instability. In ex Yugoslavia almost every decade, we come across instability crisis in Albanian territories (1958, 1968, 1974, 1981, 1989-1999.)

The resolution of Albanian status, in different levels, depending by the state and its ethnic position, has influenced positively for demographic – geopolitics interdependence in Balkan. Such situation will be more and more with positive influence in region.

Democracy, of course, has created the appropriate climate that Albanians to identify their national identity, with European democratic spirit of values. Nothing more than democracy have helped Albanian in their factorization in the region. In demographic and geopolitics aspects, the Albanians, being in general, steady population have profited more than any other in the region from the four European movements: human, idea, goods and capital movement.

Europeanization, like an opening philosophy, co-operation, integration on Continent, like national-chauvinism antipodal, xenophobia and fanaticism has greatly conserved to the dimension of the Albanian factor, which has had national doctrines,


often is made as a victim and it is  constrained it own nationalism of their neighbors. Europeanization is the most comfortable climate for the peaceful and nature solidarity of the Albanians.

Euroatlantization, as the strongest contemporaneous geopolitics “momentum” is the “bed”, where it is laid, demographically, the Albanian population. It can be said that the triangle Balkan-USA-Europe, is the axis, where the Albanian politic identity is shaped, mostly, making the region with more influence and to produce stability and pace in Balkan.

Globalization, as the “trend” of the new millennium, is fitted to the nature of the Albanian population, more than any other population in Balkan, because referring to their identity, Albanians are multi confessional population, they accept religion, civilization and cultural diversity, as an inside and international occurrence. This make Albanian population be tolerant, no fanatic, not at all fundamental in rapport with no any cultural and religious confession. The Albanians and globalization coincide with the philosophic and spiritual system better that any other population in the region, where the influences of nationalisms, religious fanaticism to the xenophobia vision, are present in opened forms.

  1. What disaffects?

The extended and problematic transition creates discomfort for the Albanian demographic and geopolitics aspects. The low rate of pluralist democracy, the defects in implementation of the human rights and freedoms of minorities, malfunction of executive state, the defects in the economic free and opened market, etc. goes in contrary of Albanian interests and in contrary to their values in region. The end of the transition will be actually a new era for the future and their role, where Albanian national interests are, utterly, with the interests of the other populations, in benefit of West Balkan democratization and its integration in euroatlanic structures.

The delays and dragging of Ohrid ‘s Agreement , are some of the most serious problems that complicates and strains the Albanian demographic and geopolitics factor, as result, for its own delicate nature, this problem creates tensions and consequences, in regional and local levels, while the successful implementation of the deal would bring stabilized values, not only for the Albanian factor but also for the whole region.





The Albanian extremely politic fragmentation is a very serious obstacle that damages not only their image but consumes a lot of energy which could go in the benefit of their role and their act, but also to the general prosperity of the region.

The lack of the infrastructure detains seriously the Albanian factor, as in functionalism of its specific role and in the benefit of region welfare. The two alleyways, 8 and 10, pass across territories with Albanian population. It is understandable, that every investments in this sector is not an ethnic investment, neither national, but regional and in all over Europe.

The lack of human capacities and forming-states is another reason that detains seriously the economic and cultural develops of the region and to its democratic processes. It is inquired a better collaboration an coordination of the issues, as in selective direction, the increasing of cultural and administrative level of elements in Albanian factor, public administration, in proportion with politic representation, also to the regional factors to be supported the increasing of public administrations, after the European standards and principles of power.

The geographic position, the ethnographic dynamic and geopolitics change the Albanian factor, in central node toward Europe, as well as worthy part of Balkan Peninsula. This means that the stability, democratization, the economic development and the Albanian integration are extra important values, for the peace, stability and integration of the whole West Balkan, in NATO and UE , an early aspiration of the peace-loving populations and the secure perspective for their future.

  1. The challenges of diplomacy.

It is understandable that stability, prosperity, democratization, integration, including also the accommodation of the Albanian demographic factor in Balkan, it’s increasing and dimensioning, constitute challenges for the foreign politics and regional, European and international diplomacy.

The independence of Kosovo represents not only a historic, unrepeatable, national and international act but also a concrete and challenging reality. Its challenge is not only the declaration of independence, but becoming of Kosovo a democratic, multi ethnic and European state, which means, creating conditions, circumstances and guaranties for the inclusion of Kosovo’s Serbs, in the Kosovo’s institutions to live and work willingly together with Albanian majority,


supported by the international integrated factors, enjoying all their rights and freedoms in a democratic and free coexistence in the whole territory of Kosovo, including in the rashly dynamic cultural, economic and politic developments of the newest state of the time. It is the duty of politics, but also to the regional and international diplomacy to “put a dead line” to support the democratic processes in Kosovo and not letting the Serb minority remain a “ghetto” in Kosovo territory, hostage of not long lasting politics which generate time after time, a necessary tensions in the region.

Secondly, the other big challenge is the collaboration and the general economic, cultural, scientific and financial integration in the prior fields, energetic, educational, free movement, to the common, free and opened markets etc. between Balkanic states, as Sovran and equal states in benefit to all Balkans, in the European and international spirit of principles and to the Balkan prosperity, toward the same target- integration of the whole region in the euro Atlantic structures.

The inclusion of the new state of Kosovo in the schedule and in all agendas of activities and initiatives in Balkanic collaboration is one of the most important moments to live together, in our old Balkan with a new European image and spirit.

Thirdly, starting from the fact that Kosovo has been and is a large international project, the most difficult challenge consist in front of the international diplomacy, which, with its tools and capacities in collaboration and precaution with the new Kosovo diplomacy will continue to insist, from one side, to build democratic processes and euro Atlantic integrations of Kosovo, from the other side, of course, will make all the effort to attract Serbia toward European and Atlantic integration, thing that would relax in maximum the processes in Kosovo and would prepare, I think, in a medium term period, the normalization of the relationships between Pristine and Belgrade...

It would be, for sure, good news, that would make a better Balkan.

*( the author is The Head of Albanian Diplomatic Academy, Professor of International Relations, Geopolitics  and Diplomacy, Professor of Theoretic and Practical Diplomacy  in some Universities of the region, ex Ambassador of Albanian  in R. of Bulgaria, Germany and in Kosovo.)




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