V. Savaryn, PhD Student

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID: 0000-0003-1756-4737

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2640.2020.146.12


The article examines the problem of Albanian immigration to Italy in the 1990's. The unstable situation in Albania in the 1990's and its proximity to Italy prompted large numbers of Albanians to cross the sea border and eventually reach the geographically closest region of Puglia. The article analyzes the government's actions in three areas: humanitarian support and accommodation of newcomers, legal registration, as well as cooperation with the country where the immigrants came from.

Analyzing the two biggest crises in 1991 and 1997 the author tries to compare common and different features and mechanisms of interaction to solve this problem. In both cases, Italy was unable to provide adequate humanitarian support to thousands of migrants; on the other hand, the approach to legalization has changed. If during the first wave it was possible to obtain a long-term residence permit, then during the second wave the period of legal stay in Italy was limited to a few months. As of 1997, the Italian border service has changed its strategy and prevented boats with migrants from entering its own territory by all means. Also, during the second wave, the issue of resolving the crisis is brought to the international level, Italy is trying to transfer sole responsibility from itself to UN institutions. If in 1991 the Italian government tried to negotiate with the authorities of Albania, in 1997 all the problems were already submitted to the UN Security Council. In addition, public opinion and a positive attitude towards Albanians has been evolving and becoming extremely negative.

The researcher concludes that the Albanian migration crisis was the first challenge for the Italian migration system, when the country had to guard its borders actively, cooperate with thousands of refugees on its territory and establish contact with the country of origin of migrants. A study of the Italian government's strategy, as well as the reaction of society and the press, is crucial for understanding the immigration system, which has been built on this experience and formed Italian policy on this subject in the future.

Keywords: Italy, immigration policy, Albanian immigration, migration crisis, refugees, Adriatic Sea.

Received by the editorial board: 11.09.2020

Download Full Text


1. Bonica, M. (2017). Italy's Response to Boat Migrants from Albania in The 1990'S and Libya in The 2000'S Compared. [online] Openaccess.leidenuniv.nl. Available at: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/48804.

2. Campani, G. (1992). Albanian Refugees in Italy. Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees, 12(4), 7-10. DOI: 10.25071/1920-7336.21669.

3. Chaloff, J. (2008). Albania and Italy Migration Policies and Their Development Relevance. Roma: Centro Studi di politicaInternazionale.

4. King, R. and Vullnetar, J. (2003). Migration and Development in Albania. Sussex.ac.uk. Retrieved from: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/SCMR/drc/publications/working_papers/WP-C5.pdf.

5. King, R. (2005).The New Albanian Migration.Brighton: University of Sussex Pres.

6. L. N. 84 Del 2001. (2001). Parlamento.it.Retrieved from: http://www.parlamento.it/parlam/leggi/01084l.htm.

7. Legge 28 Febbraio 1990, N. 39. (1990). Gazzettaufficiale.it. Retrieved from: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/1990/02/28/090G0075/sg.

8. Legge 30 Dicembre 1986, N. 943. (1986). Gazzettaufficiale.it. Retrieved from: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/1987/01/12/086U0943/sg. [Accessed 27 August 2020].

9. Leka, А. (2013). Albanian migration during the post communist transition and the European integration in global era. Academicus International Scientific Journal, 8, 201-220.

10. Mai, N. (2004). ‘Looking for a More Modern Life…’: the Role of Italian Television in the Albanian Migration to Italy. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 1, 3-22.

11. Pini, V. (2011, 06 Marzo). Vent'anni fa lo sbarco dei 27.000 Il primo grande esodo dall'Albania. La Repubblica. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/2IK0zym.

12. Report of The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, A/46/12. (1991).UNHCR.Retrieved from:https://bit.ly/2ILdsbr.

13. Stanley, F. (2015). On Belonging, Difference and Whiteness: Italy's Problem with Immigration. Doctoral Dissertations. 327. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations_2/327.

14. Tommasoli, M. (2019, April 05). The Way We Were: Humanitarian Missions and Boat People, Yesterday and Today.i-Italy: all things Italian in America. [online] iItaly.org. Retireved from: https://bit.ly/2KmKfEl.