The importance of Western Balkan countries in guarding the external borders of EU became apparent in summer 2015 after the statement of Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz: “If we do not have functional border controls at the external borders of the European Union, the whole idea of a European Union without borders inside is in danger”. Following the actuality, the challenges posed by migration pressures for the countries of the region, and the implications of the “Balkans route”, were the main topics of the Vienna Summit. The principles of commitment to a European migration policy, based on criteria of solidarity and equity and the need to help the Balkan countries to manage the situation were the basis of discussion.
This Working Paper analyses the context, policies and actions of the Albanian Government following the Western Balkans Route impact on the country and the respective conclusions of the Vienna Summit of August 2015. The study took place from November 2015 until June 2016 and included desk review, media monitoring, interviews and field visits.
This Working Paper is part of the “Berlin Process Series”, started in November 2015 in Tirana as an initiative of the Cooperation and Development Institute supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Hanns Seidel Stiftung, and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. This Working Paper was supported by Hanns Seidel Stiftung.