Some Kosovar Albanians who’ve been living in Switzerland are returning home to help build a new future. Drenusha Shala, for example, has co-founded the Baruti market research company in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. Its 70 employees have all lived in Switzerland or Germany, and work in German.
But there are many more people in Kosovo who hope to move in the other direction. The Swiss embassy in Pristina issues 20,000 visas per year.
It’s hardly surprising. Every second person is unemployed in Kosovo. In a 2013 progress report to the European parliament, there was a call for changes all round.
“Kosovo needs to improve its competitiveness and business environment, and support the private sector so as to reduce unemployment. A sound business environment demands further measures to tackle the weak rule of law and corruption,” the report said.
Most of the 200,000 Albanians in Switzerland are from Kosovo. Many of them fled the 1998-99 war in their country. Ethnically speaking, Albanians form the third largest immigrant group in Switzerland, after Italians and Germans.