A deal signed this month to build and fund two centres in Albania to process asylum claims made by rescued boat migrants is key to Italy's strategy to fight illegal immigration and bolster Europe's external borders, foreign minister Antonio Tajani told lawmakers on Tuesday.
"The protocol is a significant piece in the overall strategy to combat irregular migration," Tajani told members of Italy's lower house of parliament.
"A novel approach to managing migration and a tenacious fight against human trafficking are absolute priorities for the government. For this reason, we have put migration back at the centre of the European debate," Tajani said.
The "principal ingredients" of Italy's new approach are halting irregular departures, strengthening Europe's external borders, fighting people smuggling, boosting repatriations, expanding legal migration channels and welcoming those who have the right to international protection, he said.