Italy Can Send Asylum Seekers to Albania, Court Rules

An Albanian court on Monday gave the green light to an agreement allowing Italy to send migrants who are rescued in the Mediterranean by Italian ships to detention centers in Albania while their asylum claims are considered.

The deal is part of the Italian government’s multipronged efforts to stem migration, in particular Mediterranean Sea crossings, sending the message that many undocumented migrants will not be allowed directly into Italy, even temporarily.

The agreement was signed in November by the leaders of the two countries, but challenged by opposition lawmakers in Albania, who argued that it violated the country’s Constitution.

On Monday, the Albanian Constitutional Court ruled otherwise, clearing the way for the deal to be taken up by Parliament, where Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist Party holds 75 of the 140 seats.

In Italy, the agreement has already been approved by the lower house of Parliament and has been sent to the Senate, where Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing political allies maintain a controlling majority.

In presenting the deal last year, Ms. Meloni called it a “model of cooperation between E.U. and non-E.U. countries in managing migration flows,” and said it was in a “bold European spirit.’”

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