The European Union (EU) Delegation to Albania will support the Albanian Government and Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) in holding the population and housing Census next year, as well as INSTAT in aligning Albanian data with EU standards. This was announced by Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Luigi Soreca, in a speech delivered at a conference on these issues held in Tirana on Friday. According to Ambassador Soreca, the population and housing Census in 2020 would turn into a huge and uniquely rich source of data and invaluable information in policymaking, well-targeted public services, and fund allocation.
“Census data greatly helps authorities keep pace with the fast-changing demographics of modern society. It improves the choices made in employment, housing, investment and the protection of minorities and vulnerable groups,” he said. He also called attention to the Council of Europe’s assessment, according to which “the 2011 census fell short of ensuring the right of Albanian citizens to declare freely their ethnic origin and religion”. “In view of the current parliamentary discussion on the new Census Law, I would like to stress the recommendation of the Council of Europe, reiterated last year, that the declaration of ethnicity should be free and based on the principle of self-identification,” Ambassador Soreca said.