African bomb / Italy, migrants and the path that Europe should follow

Now that the tormented battle over migrants has passed the most heated phase, one can observe, with a cool head, how it has revealed a curious reversal of sides. The alleged government “sovereigns” have actually assumed a “Europeanist” role, claiming that, from now on, the European Union as a whole should take charge of the epochal phenomenon of immigration.

Even the stinging controversy over NGOs, as Defense Minister Guido Crosetto admitted, was a way “to force the EU to address the problem”.

Conversely, the acclaimed “Europeans” of the opposition, betting everything on the moral obligation of acceptance, and supporting the positions of the French government, found themselves playing the role of “sovereignists”, implicitly asserting that Italy can take charge “alone” of the repeated and massive waves of landings. In the case of the government, the only possible reproach is that of having sometimes used tones in communication that are not very suitable for a diplomatic posture. In that of the opposition, on the other hand, the contestation may be more fundamental: not having resisted the temptation to attack the government anyway without taking into account what the national interest was. And also the European one: because in this, as in other cases, they turn out to coincide.
As can be seen, a truly curious reversal of the parties that says a lot about how Italian politics must overcome all stale prejudices and false rhetoric.

But why do we say that Italian and European interests coincide? It is quite evident how first the pandemic and then the war have shown that only coordinated action by the European Union is capable of restoring Europe’s global credibility and, at the same time, mitigating the difficulties of individual countries. A strategy that has given us a glimpse of a future of unity, stability and security.

Well, this horizon has not so far been highlighted on two major (and dramatic) issues: that of energy and that of immigration. Energy has been discussed for months to get out of the blackmail of Russian gas by trying to isolate “German sovereignty” and some Northern countries. Immigration, after years of discussions without concrete results, is now back to talk thanks to the recent Italian-French crisis.

As the president of the EPP, Manfred Weber, correctly underlined, “this crisis must be a wake-up call to finalize the agreement on the pact for migration and asylum: a common solution must be found”. As is known, the 1990 Dublin agreement has long been considered ineffective and unfair, delegating every burden to the countries of first reception. We wanted to overcome it with the recent agreement on the so-called “voluntary redistribution”.

Even this agreement, however, has shown all its fragility: France and Germany had promised to “take charge” of eight thousand people but, on the contrary, only welcomed 117, of which Paris just 38. Paris itself, mind you, who has already had the migrants he had welcomed in Toulon repatriated, complete with a lively tussle with Rome.

These are well-known figures that have been repeatedly mentioned in recent days. But the problem is not of an “accounting” nature. This was clarified in an exemplary way by the president of the republic, Sergio Mattarella, reminding the European states that, faced with the serious challenges of the contemporary world, no country should and can feel “big”. We are all “little ones”. And only by pooling our strengths can we hope to leave a positive mark on the 21st century.

The inhabitants of the planet are now eight billion. And, in twenty years, Africa will reach two and a half billion, most of them in conditions of poverty. It has therefore been clear for some time that the phenomenon of immigration is on the way to becoming a real social “bomb”. Does Europe really think it can deal with it with some skirmishes between this or that country? If on the one hand it is unrealistic to imagine blocking this gigantic phenomenon, with grim indifference à la Le Pen, on the other it is short-sighted to think of indefinitely postponing the definition of common rules and strategies, including the code of conduct for NGOs referred to by the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi. Only this will allow Europe to become the protagonist of a clear reception and selection policy. Speaking with one loud voice to the millions of desperate people who want to join us (among whom at least half have no right to asylum).

Italy, together with Greece, Malta and Cyprus, is therefore posing a decisive problem for the future of the continent for the EU as a whole. We are just at the beginning of an announced demographic tragedy to contain which, as we know, we will also have to launch an economic and social strategy for the redemption of the North African states: an objective that will require decades of onerous commitment.

Isn’t it the time to start it without further delay? Therefore, only those who tell the Union to land on this moon are true pro-Europeans. Not those who stop to look at the finger of petty and provincial controversies for internal use.


African bomb / Italy, migrants and the path that Europe should follow