Migrant deal with Albania can become model for EU – Meloni

Premier Giorgia Meloni has said that the agreement her government has reached to set up migrant centres in Albania could become “a model of cooperation between EU and non-EU countries on… managing migratory flows”.

“It is an agreement that strengthens the strategic partnership between Italy and Albania and basically has three objectives: to combat human trafficking, prevent irregular migratory flows, and only receive the people who really have the right to international protection in Europe,” Meloni said in an interview published in Tuesday’s edition of daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

Under the agreement Meloni signed with Albanian Premier Edi Rama in Rome on Monday, migrants rescued at sea by the Italian authorities would be taken to Albania.

It would not apply to migrants picked up by NGO-run search-and-rescue ships, those who actually land in Italy or to minors, pregnant women and vulnerable people either.

At the northwestern Albanian port of Shëngjin, the deal says, Italy will handle disembarkation and identification procedures and set up a first reception and screening centre.

In Gjader, also in north-western Albania, it will set up a pre-removal centre (CPR) model structure for subsequent procedures.