While I am not a big fan of immigration and working in other countries, it is, however, a necessity and an undeniable reality for Albanians already. A great majority of them work in EU and the UK undocumented, illegally, or as asylum seekers. It would be simply a wishful thinking to deny this reality; at the same time, it is only recklessness and stupidity not to think seriously about this phenomenon and possible solutions.
On the other hand, the formal integration process, regardless of being a candidate to accession, has tuned out to be futile and a major distraction for Albanians, and I mean Albanians like you and I, not politicians. Therefore, it is the right of the Albanian people to request a strategic solution, whether you call it integration, accession, or whatever word they like to come up with next time. This strategic solution boils down to one thing which would benefit Albanians: the right to work in EU countries with no work permit requirement.
Is this possible?
In my view, this is the most possible and, actually, the most strategic political solution for Albanians. It is within reach.
First, lay Albanian citizens, especially the youth, should articulate this right whenever and wherever possible. A clear articulation would change the public opinion. As a result, the decision-makers, in Albania and EU, have no choice but to pay attention to our public opinion. Don’t underestimate your voice and your articulation. Of course, you are going to be told, “who cares what you say?”. The truth of the matter is, yes, it matters. Your public voice, I mean your independent voice, not the voice of the mainstream media or political parties, matters a lot; it matters much more than you think.
Second, this articulated request, or solution for that matter, should be addressed to the EU representatives and ambassadors as much as to the Albanian officials.
What is the moral and political ground for this?
First, Albanians have been oppressed for decades, not always for their own fault, but by design and support of our European friends.
Second, EU and USA formally recognize, support, assist and advice the Albanian government. In other words, they tell us what to do. Then, they have the moral obligation and responsibility to listen directly to the Albanian people. So, it is only fair to articulate such solutions and requests to them.
Third, this solution is very easy. It simply requires a political decision. It does not involve a relocation of people. Technically, workers are already there; they are contributing to the EU economy.
Everything else related to this prolonged and futile process, called integration, is meaningless.
It is time for the Albanian people – lay citizens, not politicians, to articulate their needs and aspirations clearly and without fear. Use your intellectual power. Your voice will be heard, no matter how small might sound to you. This is completely fair and moral.