Albanian migration was overwhelmingly irregular throughout the 1990s. Although flows stabilized during the 2000s, some irregular migration continued as legal migration channels remained limited while at the same time socio-economic inequalities in Albania increased.
The implementation of Readmission Agreements (RAs) and the strict border controls carried out by the Albanian border police, have resulted in continued repatriation of irregular migrants, especially from Greece. Tables 3 and 4 present numbers of Albanians forcibly returned from the EU during 2006-10, and the top five countries of return for 2009-10, respectively. As Table 4 shows, the overwhelming majority of them are returned from Greece. Most of returnees are male – nearly 96 percent in 2010.
Table 3: Number of persons returned to Albania from EU countries by year
Source: MoI in Dedja (2012b: 102)
Table 4: Top host countries of forced Albanian returnees, 2009-10
Source: MoI data in GoA (2010: 83-84)