The agreement between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Albania initialled on Monday “will allow the EU to be quicker and more flexible in the way it responds to any potential migratory challenges,” European Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Monday.
Avramopoulos expressed the hope that Albania becomes an EU member soon, as it is part of Europe and “shares the same challenges in the struggle against illegal migration, the better management of EU borders and the adequate handling of organised crime and terrorism.”
In earlier statements he had said, “Albania now has a historic window of opportunity to firmly bind its future to European Union. I am impressed with what you have achieved already in the area of Justice and Home Affairs.”
The agreement, he said, will serve as a model for similar agreements in the West Balkans.
Signing on behalf of Albania was Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj, who said the agreement “will also allow Albania to benefit from the projects the European Union will deliver during the implementation of this agreement.”
The agreement with Albania must now be endorsed by EU member states and will be formally signed at a later date.
The Commission is currently negotiating similar agreements with Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.