Understanding and estimating IFFs in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia is a challenging undertaking, as there is no universally accepted definition or a single indicator that can comprehensively capture the phenomenon. Being illicit, these flows are hard to track. However, every reliable indicator does suggest that the scale is significant and growing. In 2015, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) estimated that IFFs could equal some 5.9% of the region’s GDP, which proportionally far exceeds the estimates of global illicit outflows, pegged in the region of 3–5% of global GDP.

The purpose of this report is not to provide an overall estimate of the scale of IFFs in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia. Instead, it offers a political-economy analysis of key drivers and trends that enable IFFs in the region, and, in doing so, provides a richer understanding of the phenomenon and a framework upon which stronger responses can be designed.

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