Italy. The Meloni government authorizes the landing of more than 100 additional illegal immigrants

At the beginning of 2023, Italy issued a new decree aimed at hindering the action of the ships of pro-migrant NGOs. However, the government of Giorgia Meloni continues to authorize these ships to disembark illegal immigrants on Italian soil. Clever strategy or admission of helplessness?

Landing of migrants: what does the new Italian decree say?

During the month of December last, notification of authorization granted by Giorgia Meloni to three NGO ships to disembark migrants in Italian ports had raised many questions, particularly among the French, who saw in her arrival as Prime Minister the possibility of a major turning point concerning European migration policy.

Meanwhile, Italy promulgated a decree on humanitarian operations at sea on Monday, January 2. This new text now obliges ships to reach a port as soon as the first rescue is carried out. Thus, there is no longer any question of stationing in a maritime area while waiting to “fish out” other groups of migrants who have left the African coast on board small boats.

This new legislation was quickly criticized by several pro-migrant NGOs. Like Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and about twenty other organizations, which denounced on January 5 in a joint press release the Italian government’s objective of “keeping ships (…) out of the rescue zone for extended periods”. As for offenders, captains violating these rules are liable to fines of up to 50,000 euros and repeated offenses can be punished by immobilization of the vessel.

“There are no facts, only interpretations”

The strategy of the Meloni government interrogates

In parallel, the Geo Barentsa ship chartered by Doctors Without Borders, has also been authorized to disembark 73 illegal immigrants in the port of Ancona these days.

A destination also deemed a little too far by MSF, while the Italian Ministry of the Interior rejected the request of the two NGOs to be assigned closer ports. However, Italy has never been so quick to designate “safe ports” for NGOs and thus authorize the disembarkation of illegal migrants.

Will this new strategy adopted by the Meloni government end up discouraging these organizations from continuing their rotations in the Mediterranean Sea? Nothing is less obvious, and the Salvini jurisprudence is there to testify to it…

Photo credit: screenshot of Giorgia Meloni’s Twitter account (illustration photo)
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Italy. The Meloni government authorizes the landing of more than 100 additional illegal immigrants