The launch event will occur in Tirana, Albania, in the presence of Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Fabrice Leggeri, alongside Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Minister of Interior of Albania Sandër Lleshaj.
The negotiations on a Status Agreement on border cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard and Albania started in December 2017. The Agreement was finalized on 5 October 2018 and entered into force on 1 May 2019. On this date it became the first agreement of its kind with a neighbouring non-EU country and an EU partner from the Western Balkans.
The agreement enables the European Border and Coast Guard Agency to conduct joint operations and use teams at the borders shared by Albania and the EU. In agreement with the Albanian authorities, operations will take place to mitigate irregular migration, especially in case of sudden changes in migratory flows, and cross border crime.
The first joint operation will start on 22 May at the Albanian-Greek border.
Since the launch of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in October 2016, the Agency can perform deployments and joint operations on the territory of neighbouring non-EU countries. The reinforced Agency will now also be capable of launching joint operations and deploy staff in countries beyond the EU's immediate neighbourhood.
Regarding the launch, Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, Executive Director of European Border and Coast Guard Agency Fabrice Leggeri, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Minister of Interior of Albania Sandër Lleshaj will deliver speeches and review the staff and equipment to be used at the Albanian-Greek border.
A joint press conference will also take place at 11:45 and will be streamed live on EbS.