Brussels said that the migration agreement between Italy and Albania must comply with European and international legislation

This article was originally published on English

The European Commission’s reaction to the migration agreement reached between Italy and Albania was lukewarm, limiting itself to warning of the need to adhere to EU and international legislation.

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A European Commission spokesman said on Tuesday afternoon: “We are in contact with the Italian authorities because we need to see the details. We ask for detailed information about this type of agreement.”

This agreement was the first of its kind for a member state of the European Union Announced on Monday Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and her Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, held a bilateral meeting in Rome.

Under the agreement, which was not expected, Italy will build two reception centers in the Balkan country. There it will process asylum applications for migrants rescued by Italian authorities in the Mediterranean and who will be disembarked in the Albanian coastal city of Schinjen. Meloni explained that the centers will have the capacity to accommodate up to 3,000 migrants at a time, with a goal of processing 36,000 applications annually. Pregnant women, children and vulnerable people will be excluded.

Rome will bear the cost and maintenance of the infrastructure, while Tirana has agreed to provide external security and surveillance services. The launch is scheduled for spring 2024. The two centers will be subject to Italian jurisdiction, a point that has raised concerns about the extraterritorial application of Italian and EU law in a non-EU country.

A Commission spokesman said: “Member states are not prohibited from taking measures under national law to allow asylum applications to be submitted by persons from third countries, but this must be done without prejudice to the full application” of EU asylum rules.

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The question of who will be responsible for deporting rejected applicants remains unclear. Initial reports indicated that the mission would be carried out by Albanian authorities, but Prime Minister Rama later stated that the mission would fall to the Italians first. Meloni said the agreement was reached at the political level and still needs to be “followed by all subsequent regulatory provisions.”

The news quickly sparked comparisons with the controversial migration agreement between the UK and Rwanda, under which asylum seekers will be transferred from British territory to the African country while their claims are examined. The deal is still blocked by British courts and no deportations have occurred.

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Announced the year Austria had previously said that the British plan “was not a humane and dignified migration policy,” while Austria recently said that it was. Opens To explore a Rwanda-style agreement with a non-EU country.

In response to a question about the comparison, a Commission spokesman denied the similarity, because the Italian-Albanian plan will apply to those who have not yet reached Italian shores. The spokesman said, “We must first understand the Italian case before going into details. From the first information we see, it is not the same case. But again, we will need detailed information.”

The news from Rome comes as the bloc’s immigration reform enters its final phase. The reform includes a faster “border procedure” to examine asylum applications submitted by applicants from countries with a low recognition rate, such as Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Pakistan. The procedure should last a maximum of 12 weeks.

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In parallel with the reform, member states are seeking to strengthen the so-called “external dimension” of migration, a coded language for partnerships with non-EU member states to prevent migrant boats from leaving. Italy, which this year saw the irregular arrival of more than 145,000 migrants, has become one of the strongest advocates of this new policy.

Meloni stressed, “I believe that (the agreement) can become a model for cooperation between European Union countries and non-EU countries in managing migration flows.” Il Messaggero in an interviewHe stated that he had informed the committee in advance and had not received any negative response. He defended, “I believe that this agreement is characterized by the bold European spirit.”

However, the most obvious result of the external dimension, which is the memorandum of understanding with Tunisia, was VisibleAffected by disagreements, setbacks, and controversial returns since its signing in mid-July.

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