The latest edition of the ASB provides new information on the public's perception of security issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside data on religious affiliation. The ASB is an important source for policymakers and actors interested in improving the function of security institutions and increasing trust among Albanian citizens. The purpose of the event was to create a platform to discuss the survey results and to have a more informed debate on security in Albania.
In the keynote speech the Director of FES - Tirana Office, Stine Klapper highlighted the relevance of the ASB in democratic societies and the multidimensional aspects of security provisions in the current context. She pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected every aspect of daily lives at all societal levels, is the best illustration of this multidimensionality of security.
Mrs. Klapper also underlined the richness of the data provided. It reveals information regarding many dimensions of security while the publication of the second edition makes it possible to observe the trends of public opinion over the years. She pointed out that the ASB provides Albanian decision-makers, practitioners, and other interested stakeholders with a comprehensive picture for discussing security policy formulation and provisions.
The Director CSDG Arjan Dyrmishi spoke of the relevance and the unique nature of the barometer. He highlighted the fact that it is a rare research product in Albania as it presents the security policy and security provisions from the perspective of the citizens comprehensively and systematically.
Mr. Dyrmishi paid special attention to the new data collected concerning religion. He mentioned that the ASB 2020 includes 10 more questions that are related to religious affiliation. Data related to religious affiliation has been a contentious issue in Albania in the past. The information revealed in the 2011 census – the only census to collect information about religious affiliation in Albania since 1938 – was largely disputed by the religious communities.
The relevance of this data was also highlighted by Dr. Eduard Zaloshnja, the methodologist of the ASB, who underscored the validity of this data and added that the ASB also provides information about the practising of religion.
In her speech, the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security Ermonela Felaj congratulated the launch of the second edition of the ASB and commended FES for supporting this project. She emphasized the indisputable value that studies of this nature bring forward and how it can guide the debate on the formulation of security policies. Mrs. Felaj regretted that the ASB 2019 did not receive the attention it deserved during 2020 because of the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic. She would have liked to see it used to engage the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and the security institutions in a proper debate.