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alabnian soldier with flag of Albania and Croatia

Managing borders in the Western Balkans

The Opening of Albania

January 2014, Number 05.01

“Through the years, not only have state borders separated countries geographically, politically and administratively, but they have also separated and isolated peoples, cultures and civilizations from one another. Albania is unique in Europe and the world for its 50 years of isolation — its population separated from ethnic Albanians living in neighboring countries by barbed wire and bunkers.

The London Peace conference in 1913, followed by World War I, ensured that 30 to 40 percent of ethnic Albanians lived outside the country’s borders. After World War II, the totalitarian regime that took power in Albania imposed isolation on its population, a condition that wasn’t remedied until the democratic revolution in 1991. In a relatively short period since that changeover, Albania has transformed itself by completely opening its borders and integrating border control with its European partners...”

Excerpt from Nikoll Ndoci, “The Opening of Albania,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 5, No. 1, 2014: 34-37.

Nikoll Ndoci is director of migration and readmission in the Border and Migration department in the Albanian Ministry of the Interior. He serves as the national contact point for several regional partnerships, coordinator of the Ministry of the Interior in the framework of the NATO membership process, and Democratic Control of Armed Forces coordinator. Mr. Ndoci holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in law.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.