EUROPE 07.11.23 09:26
Violent reactions to the Rama-Meloni agreement, which creates new, worrying data for immigration and puts additional pressure on the EU.
THE Italy-Albania bilateral agreement in all its parts, it appears to be a “legal monstrosity that violates Italian law and international treaties, as it is based on some kind of extraterritorial jurisdiction that is not provided for by any law,” writes Repubblica about the MoU, announced yesterday by Georgia Meloni and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama at their meeting in Rome.
In order for it to come into effect, of course, it must be ratified by the Parliament and it must be deemed to be in line with international treaties and the country’s Constitution.
Those who will pay it are migrants and refugees rescued by the Italian Coast Guard, Italian Coast Guard or Italian warships, who will be allowed to disembark directly at the Albanian port of Shengjin. The same will not apply to those rescued by NGO ships, which the interior ministry will continue to send to the most remote Italian ports, a strategy aimed at decongesting Lampedusa.
From the Mediterranean to Shengjin
Those refugees/immigrants following the sea route from Turkey or Libya, for example, who are found and rescued, will be transported directly to Albania, without stopping in Italian territory and without any registration being made. Given that Albania is a “third country” and does not belong to the EU, this is considered a form of rejection, notes Repubblica. And since their transfer to the territory of another country is not foreseen by any legislation, in order for Italy to have jurisdiction there, Albania would have to agree to “cede” a piece of land from its own territory to Rome.
The “fuzzy” deal will only apply to men and adults. Children, women and vulnerable people will remain on Italian ships and return to Italian soil. This is a “selective landings” plan that has already been rejected by the courts.
The selection will be made on the ships. Regardless of their nationality, the men will be taken to Albania and there, at the center to be built by the Italian government and managed by Italy, they will be able to submit an asylum claim. But the mere fact that this only concerns adult men makes it clear that Italy has no intention of guaranteeing the rights of all asylum seekers, who in this case will remain incarcerated in these “centres”, which will be built at the expense of the Italian state, they will be controlled by the Italian authorities and who knows who will manage them. But their detention must be ordered by an Italian police officer and approved by an Italian judge within 48 hours. But which judge and on what basis will he evaluate the detention?
The asylum request
The decision to grant asylum is made by an Italian committee, after the asylum seeker appears before it. But which committee and where? It is unknown whether this plan foresees the establishment of an Italian commission on Albanian territory. And how will the right to defense and the possible appeal to an Italian judge be ensured in case of rejection of the asylum request? And finally, the detention in the second center mentioned in the agreement which is supposed to “host” those who are going to be repatriated is equally problematic. And there it will be impossible for the immigrants to exercise the right to appeal and above all: since their application has been rejected, these people will be outside the center, in a territory that does not belong to the European Union. In other words, their fate will depend on the decisions of the Albanian authorities.
The Commission’s first comment
The European Commission “is aware of the agreement. It is important that any agreements of this type respect EU rules. and international law” comments a representative of the Commission in a first reaction to the agreement.