An agreement for the management of the borders between Albania and the European Border and Coast Guard was signed as part of European Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos’ visit to Tirana,
Ahead of the EU-Albania accession negotiations, the bloc’s agreement with Albania forecasts “a better management of irregular migratory flows that will allow for the presence of Frontex teams inside Albania’s border,” according to Commissioner Avramopoulos.
On the sidelines of a joint press conference with Albania’s Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj, Avramopoulos reiterated that this is the first agreement that the EU has reached with a Western Balkan nation. The Commissioner hopes a similar agreement with Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia can also be signed in the coming months.
“I hope it can serve as a model for the ongoing negotiations with Serbia,” said Avramopoulos, a week after the EU outlined its plan for the Western Balkans.
“Albania now has a window and a historical opportunity to closely link its future to the EU,” said Avramopoulos. More robust operational cooperation between priority third countries and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will contribute to the better management of irregular migration, further enhance security at the EU’s external borders, and strengthen the Agency’s ability to act in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, according to the Commission.
The agreement with Albania must now be endorsed by the EU’s 28 member states and formally signed at a later date. Once the Agreement enters into force, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will be able to carry out operational activities and deploy teams in the regions of Albania that border the EU.