Thirty-three years ago, on a cold December day, Albanian students gathered in the center of Tirana armed with hopes and ropes to take down the statue of the deceased dictator adorning the square.

“We want Albania to be like the whole of Europe” – their chants, audible, although weakly, even today, sought a European future for the country based on democratic values, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

Thirty-three years later, as the country faces narrowing civic space, a fragile democracy plagued by a growing number of young professionals leaving, the needs remain the same, although holding those chants seems difficult.

This reflective corner is designed to delve into the hurdles Albanian civil society, academia, media, and the youth face in their determined quest for change. It will explore the motivations behind their civic engagement, the principal challenges they confront, and the potential opportunities. Additionally, the session will investigate how personal and professional integrity can be maintained in a demanding environment where compromise is often the simplest solution.

The Center Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV) invites you to participate in this event and engage in a meaningful conversation with representatives from civil society, the media, and academia. This gathering, forming part of the Week of Integrity, also commemorates the 8th of December as National Youth Day in Albania. This initiative aligns with SCiDEV’s ongoing commitment to bolstering democratic resilience in Albania and the broader region and fostering collaboration within the Quadruple Helix framework.

13th December, 16:30-18:00, Library “Moikom Zeqo”, Avni Rustemi Square, Tirana