Municipality of Durres – Albania

City of Durrës has a population of 320.151 inhabitants in 340 Km2 surface. It is the most economically important city of Albania extended in the western part of the country only 35 km far away from Tirana, the capital of Albania, and 25 km far from the International Airport; also it is the country’s main sea port and Albanian second largest industrial Centre.  Indeed, Durrës city, as a port city, faced the migration outflow in Europe after the communist regime. It is calculated that more than 900 thousand Albanian inhabitants emigrated in Europe (Italy, Greece, Spain, and Great Britain). Whereas, Durrës city has dealt with the immigration phenomenon, during the ex-Yugoslavia War and Serbian genocide to Kosovo in 1999. In a three-month period, from March to May 1999, around 580.000 Albanians from Kosovo have been received and hosted in Durrës area, by providing food, water, transport, logistics, shelter and sanitation as well as facilitate voluntary repatriation of refugees to their homes in Kosovo.  Also, many citizens welcomed the co-nationals at their houses in order to provide social and economic support. Indeed, the Albanian Government financially assisted Albanian host families with cash grant. The cash grant gave the opportunity to the host families to cover the additional living expenses related to their refugee guests (such as food, fuel and other utilities).

In order to better address the immigration phenomenon, Durrës Municipality for the period February 2016- January 2018, has been partner in another Project financed also from Europe for Citizens Programme, INclusive TOwns in action for a shared EUropean strategy of inclusion/ IN.TO.EU Project. This Project aimed to increase local management capacities in case of flux of immigrants, as well to promote the cooperation among local authorities/actors in order to better realize the integration of migrants in receiving territory.

Finally, we might emphasize that Durrës Municipality successfully has implemented the EU projects under financial programme IPA CBC 2007-2013, InterregMed 2014-2020, Interreg Adrion 2014-2020 as well Europe for Citizens. Hence, Durrës Municipality has the necessary administrative capacities to manage the whole project during the implementation phase. The Development Policies Directory in Durrës Municipality, is directly involved into the concrete action to manage and implement projects funded by the EU financial programmes, in collaboration with internal expertise in the Municipality and external expertise (if it is required).