An agreement between the European Union and Albania to manage the country's borders has officially come into force. Agents from the EU border agency Frontex will be deployed there to fight irregular immigration and trafficking.
Signed in February 2018, this agreement is the first cooperation agreement between Frontex and a country outside the EU to go into effect.
European Frontex units will be deployed at the border with Albania and will carry out joint operations with local police. The goal: To fight irregular migration and cross-border crime.
'Accord is a milestone'
"The agreement with Albania represents a milestone in the EU's external cooperation for the management of borders," said the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos. He called for more collaboration with the whole region of the western Balkans.
Similar agreements between the EU and North Macedonia (signed in July 2018), Serbia (September 2018), Bosnia-Herzegovina (January 2019) and Montenegro (February 2019) will soon take effect.
Albania and all of these countries are located to the north of the EU countries Greece and Bulgaria and to the south of EU members Hungary and Croatia. This makes them important transit countries for migrants trying to get to Western EU countries like Germany, France or Sweden.