Italy’s Controversial Migration Deal with Albania Raises Concerns

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s recent visit to Albania’s Shëngjin port has shed light on the questionable nature of Italy’s migration deal with the country. The plan, which involves sending migrants and asylum seekers to Albania after intercepting them in the Mediterranean Sea, has been met with criticism and concerns about human rights violations.

The scheme, established in November, includes the setup of processing, reception, and detention centers in Albania. However, there are serious doubts about the fairness of the asylum procedure and the judicial review of detention in another state. Italy plans to send adult men from designated “safe” countries to Albania for an accelerated asylum process, followed by swift deportation for those denied protection. But the safety of these designated countries has been called into question, with reports of torture and human rights abuses in places like Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Cameroon.

Despite promises to have the centers operational by May, delays have pushed the timeline to August, with construction costs skyrocketing by millions of euros. The overall budget for the scheme’s operation over the next five years is estimated to be €670 million, raising concerns about the financial burden on both Italy and Albania.

Critics argue that the Italy-Albania deal is not a sustainable solution to the migration crisis and may even put people’s rights at risk. The lack of transparency in the assessment process for determining who should be sent to Albania raises further doubts about the effectiveness of the plan. Instead of addressing the root causes of migration, the costly and controversial deal is seen as a misguided attempt to deter crossings in the Mediterranean.

As Italy continues to push forward with the migration scheme, concerns persist about the impact it will have on both migrants and the countries involved. The visit to Albania has only highlighted the flaws in the approach taken by Meloni’s government, leaving many to question the wisdom of the deal and its long-term consequences.