Special Programme for the Reintegration of Returnees to Albania, Kosovo* and Macedonia

The aim of the project was to reinforce the capacity of local NGOs in Albania, Kosovo* (Serbia and Montenegro) and FYROM, in view of promoting long-term sustainable reintegration services for irregular migrants returning with existing IOM Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Programmes from the EU Member States.

Eligible persons under this project were:

  • Expired visa holders
  • Undocumented migrants
  • Rejected asylum seekers

The project had two components. During the first stage, a research study was carried out in four EU MS (Belgium, Italy, Germany and the UK) among the target group, namely illegal migrants from Albania, Kosovo* and FYROM, in order to determine what drove people to leave their country, what would motivate them to return and what type of reintegration assistance would be most useful to returnees. The report revealed that the main reasons for emigration were general insecurity, economic hardship and political reasons in the countries/region of origin. The primary circumstances under which migrants would be willing to return on a permanent basis were found to be secured employment, acceptable level of security and acceptable living standards.

As to the main types of return assistance mentioned by the potential return migrants were loans for small and mid-size business start-up, followed by job-seeking assistance and housing allowance.

Based on the results, suitable NGOs in the countries of origin were identified and benefited from capacity building activities.

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The second stage aimed at facilitating the return and sustainable reintegration of irregular Albanian, Kosovar and Macedonian migrants in their countries/region of origin.

Reintegration assistance was provided to the existing IOM AVR package for the return of irregular migrants from the EU Member States.

The reintegration assistance included:

  • Assistance to set up a small business
  • Job placement in private and public enterprises
  • Vocational and on the job training
  • Computer and languages courses
  • Educational assistance e.g. etc.


*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).