Migrants: Albania suspends the ratification of the Meloni-Rama agreement


By John

In Albania, the process for approving the agreement with Italy on migrants has stopped, at least temporarily.

The ratification of the agreement signed by Giorgia Meloni and Edi Rama, which was scheduled for today in the Tirana Parliament, was suspended by the Constitutional Court, which agreed to examine two appeals presented by the opposition. Everything is therefore postponed to the ruling on the merits, which must arrive within three months. Palazzo Chigi recorded this passage by choosing not to comment on a technical-legal decision of a third country (therefore not political). And in any case it emerged that there is no concern about any delays in implementing the memorandum.

The protocol signed by the two heads of government last November, which provides among other things for the creation of two reception and repatriation centers on Albanian soil, but financed and managed by Italy, has created harsh clashesbetween the majority and the opposition both in Rome (where the agreement has yet to reach the chamber for ratification) and in Tirana. In the Albanian capital, the centre-right, opponent of the socialist executive, has gone all the way to the highest court to denounce a cooperation mechanism that would be in conflict with the Constitution and the international conventions to which the country adheres. In particular, in the two appeals presented to the Court – one advanced by the Democratic Party led by the former Interior Minister and former mayor of Tirana Lulzim Basha, the other by 28 deputies linked to the former prime minister and former president Sali Berisha – it was stated that the protocol with Italy would lead Albania to renounce its sovereignty, and in any case the authorization of the President of the Republic would be necessary for this agreement to pass. A first ruling from the Constitutional Court has arrived on these findings. Not on the merits, but on the legitimacy.

President Holta Zaçaj, in fact, explained that “the panel of judges considered that the appeals presented comply with the required criteria, and decided to examine them in plenary session”. At this point, the parliamentary procedures for ratifying the agreement are suspended until the senior magistrates express their opinion with a sentence. Which according to national legislation must arrive within three months of the date of submission of the appeal. In this case, by March 6th. The first session is scheduled for January 18th. Sources at Palazzo Chigi, interviewed on the issue, made it known that they did not fear delays in the implementation of the protocol. The executive, among other things, received significant support from Ursula von der Leyen just yesterday. The President of the Commission, in the letter sent to the 27 on the state of the work on migration, as usually happens before the summits in Brussels, defined the Italy-Albania agreement as “a model” to look to. An “example of out-of-the-box thinking, based on a fair sharing of responsibilities with third countries in line with obligations under EU and international law”, she underlined, according to what emerged from European sources. In fact, the same concept expressed by Giorgia Meloni, who after signing with Rama had spoken of a “pioneer” Italy, of an “innovative agreement” and of an “example to be replicated”.

In Rome, however, the temporary stop that came from Tirana caused a new outcry from the opposition. “This government wins every award around Europe and internationally. But in incompetence and inadequacy,” said Italian Left secretary Nicola Fratoianni. “Giorgia Meloni’s commercial risks not being broadcast”, echoed Davide Faraone, group leader of Italia Viva alla Camera. “I hope that this marks the beginning of the end of this legal and humanitarian disgrace”, the words of +Europa secretary Riccardo Magi.