Meloni expects the centers to begin operations in the spring of 2024. The Italian Prime Minister said, “We have three objectives with the agreement with Albania: to tackle human trafficking, to stop illegal migration flows and to admit into Europe only those people who genuinely have the right to international protection.”
“Albania will give Italy the opportunity to use some areas of Albanian territory, namely the port of Shengjin and the area of Gajdar, where Italy can build two facilities at its own expense and under its jurisdiction,” Meloni said. In these facilities, Italy will “manage the entry, temporary reception, processing of asylum applications and possible repatriation of immigrants”. The agreement applies to migrants rescued at sea, except minors, pregnant women and vulnerable people.
“Italian personnel, our police forces and the asylum commission will work in the centres,” the prime minister said. Albania will cooperate with Italy on security and external monitoring of the facilities through its police forces. Meloni sees the agreement as an agreement with which Albania “affirms itself not only as a country friendly with Italy, but also as a country friendly with the European Union”.
When it comes to migration, Italy has managed to raise the issue of Tunisia at the highest level at European and international level. “The discussions have been very positive, even though there are still many aspects to be clarified,” Meloni said. The number of migrants leaving Tunisia for Italy has declined since October. Since the beginning of 2023, 144,039 migrants have arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean Sea. There were 85,282 in the comparable period of 2022.