Albania Approves Migration Deal With Italy

Albania Approves Migration Deal With Italy

Albania’s Parliament approved a deal with Italy to establish migrant processing centres in Albania. Two centres—one inland for asylum processes and one at Shūngjin port for initial screening—are part of the plan. Together, they can accommodate 3,000 migrants, with a target of 36,000 processing cases annually. With more people seeking asylum as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, Italy hopes to use this agreement to fight human trafficking and unauthorised immigration.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were among the critics who criticised the idea for allegedly breaking EU legislation and the rights of migrants. The main issues include unjustified detention and unauthorised entry for migrants, particularly for vulnerable populations. The legal certainty and responsibility of compliance are questioned by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

The plan complies with sovereignty principles and has the approval of Albania’s Constitutional Court. However, due to the centres’ Italian authority in a country outside the EU, questions remain about EU legislation on refoulement. While Albania is not obligated to follow EU regulations as a non-member, Prime Minister Meloni sees Albania as a de facto member of the EU.

The centres are scheduled to open in the spring, despite persistent legal and human rights issues.