The Capitals brings a unique overview of events from European countries.
ROME | TIRANA
Albania to help Italy with migrants. But the agreement arouses criticism and caution. Thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers rescued by Italian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea will be sent to Albania to process their applications under an agreement between Prime Minister Edi Rama and his Italian counterpart Giorgio Meloni on Monday.
However, the decision has sparked controversy in both countries, including complaints of a lack of political consensus and a vote in parliament, with the EU warning that the deal must respect national and international law.
Doubts also revolve around human rights and the risk of insufficient enforcement, given that similar deals with other countries have been rejected or challenged in court in the past.
Under the new agreement, two areas in northern Albania, the port of Shengjin and Gjader, will be used to receive, assess and process asylum seekers and refugees.
Finance is provided by the Italian side, so the agreement applies only to those migrants rescued by Italian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea, not to those who reach Italian soil on their own. The agreement also does not apply to minors, pregnant women or other vulnerable persons.
In 2023, more than 145,000 persons reached the Italian mainland, while in the same period in 2022 it was approximately 88,000 persons. Meloni promised to crack down on migration, but finding a solution was not easy. Her far-right party, the Brothers of Italy, demanded the establishment of processing centers outside the European Union, suggesting for example North Africa, but no country was willing to consider it.
Rama said that while Albania cannot solve Italy’s migrant problem, it can help and cooperate. (Alice Taylor | Euractiv.com, Federica Pascale | Euractiv.it)
State of Palestine? Yes, but not now, sounds from Berlin. The German government stressed on Monday that it continued to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but said that protecting Israel was more urgent at the moment.
“We cannot give up (two-state) solution because there hasn’t been a better idea in the last 30 years or so,” a German government spokesman told reporters in reference to the ongoing conflict, which flared up again in early October.
However, the idea of a two-state solution is not perceived by everyone in Germany in the same way. Calls for support for an independent Palestinian state have been criticized by government and opposition lawmakers, as well as the Central Council of Jews in Germany, whose chairman Josef Schuster called them unrealistic because there is no “serious representative” on the Palestinian side.
Supporting a two-state solution is not an immediate priority, a government spokesman conceded, pointing out that in the face of an “urgent crisis, the long-term perspective does not matter”. (Nick Alipour | Euractiv.de)
Portugal has renewable energy to give away. Portugal’s renewable energy production hit a new high, outpacing consumption for 149 hours in a row, energy networks manager REN said on Monday. The previous record was 131 hours and was set in 2019.
During the mentioned 149 hours, it was possible to break other records related to the supply of the entire network. “These important records confirm that Portugal has maintained a sustainable path in the gradual integration of endogenous renewable resources while maintaining the primary objectives of security of supply and quality of service,” REN said. (Maria João Pereira | Lusa.pt)
Tusk has to wait, Morawiecki will try to form a government. Despite a challenge from the opposition camp led by Donald Tusk, who appears to have a more secure parliamentary majority after the parliamentary elections in October, Polish President Andrzej Duda decided on Monday to give priority to his own Law and Justice (PiS) party in the first attempt to form a new government. It was this party that won the most votes in the elections. The current Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will try to form a new cabinet. Critics point out that this is a delaying tactic. (Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)
The new mayor of Sofia will be from the pro-European camp. The new mayor of Sofia, the holder of what is said to be the third most important post in the country, will be information technology entrepreneur Vasil Terziev from the pro-European coalition Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria and Save Sofia. He defeated former trade unionist Vanja Grigorova, nominated by a coalition of pro-Russian left and far-right parties. (Krassen Nikolov | Euractiv.bg)
You can find more news from all over Europe on our partner website EURACTIV.com.
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