Tender published for Italian migrant centres in Albania




In a recent development, the Rome prefect's department has announced tenders for the establishment of three Italian migrant centers in Albania, as part of an agreement between Rome and Tirana forged last year. The notification outlines the allocation of funds, with an annual budget of nearly 34 million euros for these centers.

The agreement, formalized between Premier Giorgia Meloni and Albanian counterpart Edi Rama in November, outlines the reception and processing of up to 3,000 migrants and refugees monthly, specifically those rescued by Italian ships. Notably, individuals with special needs, those rescued by NGO vessels, and those arriving directly on Italian shores are exempt from this arrangement.

The operational timeline for these centers is set for May 20, signaling a swift implementation of the agreement. This move aligns with Italy's broader strategy under the Meloni government, which since assuming office in autumn 2022, has been actively engaging with third countries to curb irregular sea migration to Italy.

However, the deal has faced criticism domestically, with the opposition branding it as akin to creating a new Guantanamo and potentially violating the Italian Constitution. Despite these challenges, the government maintains its stance on the necessity and legality of the agreement.

Internationally, reactions have been mixed, with the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) and the Council of Europe voicing concerns, while some other EU nations view it as a potential model for addressing migration challenges.

The establishment of these migrant centers is poised to have several impacts on the Albanian economy:

  1. Economic Infusion: The substantial annual budget allocated for these centers will inject significant funds into the Albanian economy, benefiting sectors such as construction, hospitality, and services.

  2. Employment Opportunities: The operation and maintenance of these centers will create job opportunities for locals, ranging from administrative roles to support services.

  3. Infrastructure Development: The need for robust infrastructure to support the functioning of these centers may lead to investments in transportation, utilities, and communications infrastructure.

  4. Diplomatic Relations: This agreement strengthens diplomatic ties between Italy and Albania, potentially paving the way for future collaborations in various sectors.

  5. Social and Cultural Impacts: The presence of these centers may also bring about social and cultural exchanges between migrants, locals, and international organizations, fostering a diverse and dynamic environment.