Italy-Albania Protocol on Migrants, the solution to illegal migration: This is an agreement signed yesterday by Prime Minister Meloni and Prime Minister Rama to create two reception centers for migrants in Albania, managed by Italy according to Italian and European standards. The agreement has a duration of five years, is renewable for another five, and provides for the respect of the migrants’ rights to defense and asylum, as well as their removal at the end of the procedures. Italy undertakes to return the areas of the centers at the end of the protocol.
A solution that others are trying to implement: The idea echoes that of the United Kingdom, which wanted to manage the migrants’ files in Rwanda but was stopped by the ropes of justice. Other European countries had tried to apply similar agreements without success. Italy had no opposition from the Commission, both because the management of the areas remains with Italy and because Albania is an EU candidate country anyway. Then many countries complained that irregular migrants landed in southern Italy and then crossed borders to go to northern Europe, which is more complicated in Albania.
Reactions and controversy: The agreement has been criticized by the center-right Albanian opposition, which considers it a betrayal of national interests and a cession of sovereignty. In Italy, too, the PD and M5s have expressed doubts about the legality and appropriateness of the agreement, calling for the involvement of the EU. The European Commission asked to receive details on the agreement to assess its compatibility with EU rules. Meloni defended the agreement as a model of collaboration between EU and non-EU countries to fight human trafficking and only accept those who are entitled to international protection. Moreover, in this way, migrants awaiting expulsion or regularization will not be able to occupy Italian cities, often engaging in illegal activities.