Migrants, ratification of the Italy-Albania agreement today in the Council of Ministers

On the agenda of the Council of Ministers convened for 4pm there will also be a bill for the ratification of the Protocol between Rome and Tirana which provides for the construction of two structures (at the port of Shengjin and in the Gjader area) for the management of migratory flows

A bill for the ratification of the Protocol between Italy and Albania on migrants is among the measures on the agenda of the Council of Ministers convened today at 4pm (THE MIGRANTS SPECIAL). The definitive examination of the framework bill on post-disaster reconstruction is also foreseen, as well as the legislative decree on the redevelopment of public services for inclusion and accessibility in implementation of the enabling law on disability.

The Italy-Albania agreement

The financial coverage and the first implementing rules of the protocol between Italy and Albania on the management of migrants are provided for in the bill for the ratification of the agreement. The text arrives at the Council of Ministers this afternoon, after the technical examination which took place the day before, in the preparatory meeting. It is easy to foresee a lively process in Parliament, with the opposition immediately contesting the agreement signed on 6 November by Giorgia Meloni and Edi Rama at Palazzo Chigi. At first the government and the majority, with many voices, had argued that parliamentary ratification was not necessary, as the protocol (in force for five years from the date agreed between the parties with subsequent exchange of notes) was based on two treaties between Rome and Tirana. A thesis harshly contested by the opposition, complete with a letter to the President of the Chamber Lorenzo Fontana who in mid-November asked the government for clarification on the details of the agreement. And a week later, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani announced the executive’s intention to submit “a ratification bill to the Chambers quickly”.

What the agreement provides

The definitive text will help to better understand how the project to build the structures planned in Albania at the port of Shengjin, near Bari, and in the Gjader area, 20 kilometers inland, could take shape. The first, the one where migrants loaded in the Mediterranean on board Italian ships would land, based on the sheets contained in the protocol, will have a perimeter of approximately 240 metres, with an external fence of 4 meters with “offendicula”, i.e. barbed wire or systems similar, and various routes within: the one for migrants, the one for anti-scabies treatment, the exit routes towards a reception camp and towards the detention camp. The structure in Gjader, the one for ascertaining the conditions for international protection and for the repatriation of migrants who do not have the right to enter and stay in Italy, would be built on a building area of ​​77,700 square meters: the cadastral map shows 10 buildings ( now “dilapidated”, it is specified) for almost 2 thousand square meters. The buildings for the State Police will also be built in this area. One issue remains that of the number of migrants. The protocol clarifies that the structures can host a maximum of 3 thousand at the same time. At the signing Meloni also spoke of 36 thousand per year, counting on procedures completed in four weeks.

Areas will be under Italian jurisdiction

Then the undersecretary Giovanbattista Fazzolari clarified that “migrants can be detained beyond 28 days even in Albania. The maximum allowed by Italian law is 18 months”. In short, in all respects, the areas granted by Tirana to Rome are subject exclusively to Italian jurisdiction. And Italy will bear the burden 100%: it will have to set up a guarantee fund and, as an advance on reimbursements for the first year, within three months of the entry into force of the agreement, it will have to pay 16.5 million euros in the special state treasury account opened by Albania. As specified in the agreement and in the annexes, the expenses, among other things, include those of hospital assistance, the purchase of medical devices, drugs and vaccines, the costs for the use of police (the Albanian forces are responsible for supervision external), the purchase of fuel for vehicles and vehicles, as well as any legal costs for the defense before international courts, and for compensation for damages decided by national or international courts.