MoI says FRONTEX is vital in controlling refugee flow at Albanian-Greek border

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 9, 2019 15:44

MoI says FRONTEX is vital in controlling refugee flow at Albanian-Greek border

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  • However, recent events at the Greek-Albanian border show refugees’ goal is to flee to North Europe, through Albania or Macedonia. According to Lleshaj, the situation can only be managed with the help of European partners.

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TIRANA, April 9 – Albanian Interior Minister Sander Lleshaj said on Monday Albania cannot manage the potential refugee flux making its way through the country on its own.

Lleshaj said during a conference with Czech counterpart Jan Hamáček that there is information “about the circulation through social media of the efforts of organizing a refugee caravan from Greece to Europe.”

He further implied that Albania has limited capacity to expect a potential influx of refugees who could move to Albania through its border with Greece when he noted that “Albania has the capacities it has and can not expand them every time a refugee wave is activated.”

Lleshaj called the management of refugee inflows “a  difficult and multi-dimensional challenge to manage and a situation that is hard to deal with from only one country.”

“The situation is being kept in constant control, Albania has the capacity to partially keep the situation under check, but certainly our part only is not enough, this is a big issue that goes beyond the size of Albania and the region,” Lleshaj said.

He recalled the difficult 2015 refugee situation, termed the year of the crisis in Europe because hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq flooded Europe  through the Mediterranean Sea to escape war and persecution.

In November 2015, about 160,000 refugees settled in the reception centers of Greece.

However, recent events at the Greek-Albanian border show refugees’ goal is to flee to North Europe, through Albania or Macedonia. According to Lleshaj, the situation can only be managed with the help of European partners.

“Albania will be able to manage the situation and keep it under control as it is much better coordinated with its European and FRONTEX partners currently located on the common border of Albania with Greece,” Lleshaj said.

Albania is the first non-EU member that signed last year’s EU border management agreement, known as the FRONTEX (European Border and Coast Guard Agency) agreement. This agreement allows the EU to coordinate the operational cooperation with Albania on the management of the EU’s external borders.

The focus of the cooperation is illegal migration, migration flows and cross-border crime. Since the deal with FRONTEX, last year, the technical and operational assistance of the EU has increased in Albania’s borders. Effective EU external borders management, controlling potential migratory flows, the fight against smuggling of immigrants continue to be important challenges for Albania, the region and the EU.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 9, 2019 15:44