About 20 Eritreans have left Italy for a new life in Sweden; the first refugees to be resettled under a new EU relocation plan.
Under the EU’s plan, 120,000 refugees will be redistributed from Italy and Greece to other European countries.
On Thursday, EU Interior Ministers agreed to beef up its border force Frontex in order to speed up deportations of failed asylum seekers.
They also called for more effective re-admission deals with countries of origin outside the EU.
The conclusions from their talks said EU states should detain migrants who may abscond before they are deported.
The plan to resettle 120,000 refugees from Italy and Greece; two countries which have borne the brunt of the influx, was agreed by the EU in September.
The group of 19 young Eritreans left Rome’s Ciampino Airport on board a financial police plane, AFP reports.
They were waved off by the EU’s Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano.
Mr Avramopoulos said on Thursday that the refugees had been “registered, fingerprinted, identified and screened for relocation”.
The EU has agreed to set up so-called “hotspots” in Italy and Greece – new migrant registration centres for new arrivals to be filtered and priority given to refugees in need of international protection.
Mr Avramopoulos said that the first EU hotspot in Italy was already operational in Lampedusa.
Hundreds of migrants have drowned off the tiny island near North Africa, after crowding on to rickety boats that set sail from Libya.