Kosovo has agreed to rent 300 prison cells to Denmark to ease overcrowding in the Scandinavian country’s jails.
Denmark will pay an annual fee of €15m (£12.8m) for an initial period of five years, and will also help fund green energy in the country. The rented cells are meant to house convicted criminals from non-EU countries due to be deported from Denmark after their sentences.
Danish laws would apply to any prisoners in the rented cells.
Kosovo has between 700 and 800 unused prison spaces.
The two governments signed a “political declaration” of intent on Monday which will run for an initial period of five years, a joint statement said.
In total, Kosovo is due to receive a total of €210m over the next 10 years for renting the prison in Gjilan, some 50km (30 miles) from the capital, Pristina, from 2023. Danish ministers were due to visit the jail on Tuesday. “[The agreement] will create space in our prisons and ease the pressure on our prison officers at the same time as it also sends a clear signal to third-country nationals sentenced to deportation: Your future does not lie in Denmark, and you must therefore not serve time here,” Danish Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup said in a statement.