Almost a third of the Albanian population has chosen to live and work in one of the European Union countries.
This is what emerged from the data published yesterday by Eurostat regarding residence permits issued to citizens belonging to non-EU countries: more than 867.000 Albanian citizens - about one third of the population of the Country of Eagles - were in possession of a permit EU residence permit in 2017, last year with updated data from member states.
Greece and Italy are the main countries that have issued these residence permits, with around 94% of the total. The remaining part is divided between Germany (around 3%), Belgium, France and the United Kingdom (around 1% each).
In the data, of course, not all Albanian citizens who have obtained are considered citizenship in EU countries.
Why are these permits issued?
461.000 Albanian citizens - about 53% of the total - have obtained a residence permit for family reasons. Following are the permits issued for work reasons (185.000 in total): Italy is the main country to have issued this type of permit (75% of the total), followed by Greece (22%) and Germany (2%).
On the other hand, for reasons of education, a total of around 7000 residence permits have been issued. Leading this category is always Italy (39% of the total), followed by Germany (29% of the total), United Kingdom, Austria and France (7% of the total).
Furthermore, about 2500 residence permits have been issued for asylum seekers or those who have obtained refugee status. About 45% of these permits were issued by France (455 in numerical terms), 25% by Belgium, 11% by Italy, 9% by Germany while the remaining part by the United Kingdom.
Most of these residence permits (2478) have been issued to asylum seekers, with France and Germany being the preferred destinations for asylum seekers and, not surprisingly, the countries that have issued the most.
Of the remaining part of residence permits issued (about 200.000) the reason for the release in the data published by Eurostat is not specified. Greece leads this category (with around 91% of the total), followed by Germany (3%), France and the United Kingdom (1% each).