In the past decade, Albania has become a fundamental player in European and international drug trafficking – so much so that the mafia may become the greatest economic investor in the Albanian economy.
In line with CHANCE’s (Civil Hub Against orgaNised Crime in Europe) Political Agenda against organised crime and corruption introduced on 3 April 2019, Libera has arrived in Albania as a partner of the international RISE-ALB project and for the promotion and exchange of efficient practices on the public and social use of confiscated goods.
Led by ENGIM (Ente Nazionale Giuseppini del Murialdo), the RISE-ALB project is deeply connected to Albania’s present context, one that is witnessing on the one hand the introduction of social entrepreneurship (which was not a legally recognized subject beforehand) and, on the other, the ever-growing promotion of the public and social reuse of confiscated goods in which civil society and local communities are directly involved.
The goal of the RISE-ALB project is to improve the socio-economic inclusion and condition of disadvantaged sectors of the population (i.e. women, disabled people, and youths in rural areas) through the reinforcement of the local CSOs who protect their rights. The project aims to particularly support the development of social enterprises, identified by European practices as the ideal tools for labor creation and for the insertion of socially vulnerable categories of the population into workplace environments.
Libera’s role in the project is based on our own experience and competences within the management and reuse of confiscated goods. In November 2020, Libera led an online, theoretical training on the social reuse of confiscated goods directed towards Albanian representatives and institutions that, by way of analysis of the Italian model, aims to create an adequate regulatory framework with specific institutional tools that will ensure its implementation. The training will continue until Autumn 2022 with a visit to Italian confiscated territories, with the final purpose of providing practical knowledge over the realities at hand.
Following Libera’s visionary and formative approach, our actions will continue with the organization of a summer camp in the Summer of 2022 for young Albanian activists on a confiscated territory in Italy and, furthermore, a visit to Coop Terre Joniche for four Albanian associations nominated for the management of Albanian confiscated goods.
The project’s ultimate impact does not only affect the disadvantaged people involved in the course of labor creation, who, through the project, become economically active subjects in their communities and positive models of change for those in similar conditions; but also local CSOs that, by improving their competence and organization, will be able to set up entrepreneurial and social initiatives even after the duration of the project, facilitated by a favorable political-institutional context and by a growing interest in the areas of private profit.