Italy Begins Legal Procedures to Transfer Asylum Seekers to Albania

Though in violation of EU law, the Italian government has begun the legal procedures in order to transfer the Eritrean asylum seekers upon the Diciotti, from Italy to Albania.

The Italian Ministry of Interior Affairs has filed the draft law providing the necessary procedures that will allow the Rama government to host the asylum seekers in Albania at the Italian legal parliamentary committee, even though such an action violates EU asylum laws.

As Exit has previously explained, to transfer refugees as part of an agreement between a Member State and a third country like Albania, the asylum seekers’ consent is necessary, in the form of an asylum application for another country, and not their point of entry.

OraNews has managed to obtain the draft law’s accompanying report that, among other things, delineates how the Italian Interior Ministry has justified transferring asylum seekers from a Member State (Italy) to a third country (Albania).

In the report, the Interior Ministry’s vice secretary, Luigi Gaetti, explains why Albania will be the country to host the 20 Eritrean asylum seekers:

Albania has ratified the Geneva Convention, is a member of the Council of Europe, and has ratified several agreements aimed at protecting human rights.

Since 2014, Albania is officially a candidate to be become a EU Member State, respects the Copenhagen Criteria that guarantee democracy, rule of law, human rights, and protection of ethnic minorities.

Albania has been deemed a “secure country” by 8 Member States, and the European Commission has even proposed that Albania be included in a possible “secure third countries” list.

Over the years, Albania has established a suitable system for hosting asylum-seekers of the Balkans pathway.

The document states that the transferrals will preserve core family relations, respect endangered categories, and ensure protection of unaccompanied minors.

Among other things, Gaetti stressed that the logistics of this transferral have been entrusted to the Albanian Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs, Rovena Voda who, working together with UNHCR, is preparing the preliminary conditions for hosting the refugees. So far, Voda has stated only that they are working with the Italian government to get the asylum seekers to Albania as soon as possible, and host them in the national center for sheltering asylum seekers.

This shows that, even as they risk violating the European Convention on Human Rights, the Dublin Convention, the Geneva convention, and the Italian Constitution and Criminal Code, the Italian and Albanian governments have continued discussing ways to transfer the 20 Eritrean asylum seekers to Albania.