Migrants, is Italy really abandoned by the EU?

Giorgia Meloni and Ursula von der Leyen they met again, after their conversation at the European Council on 15 December. On the table, in addition to the Pnrr and the Repower EU programme, was the thorny issue of migrants.

The shared goal is first of all to arrive at a articulated plan for repatriations and a generalized system of preferences (GSP) for countries of origin that cooperate, granting preferential tariffs for products being exported. A theme on which there is more or less the understanding of everyone in the EU unlike the transfer systemon which Italy calls for greater responsibility on the part of the States that finance the ong operating in the Mediterranean. While no response has come from the EU partners to Meloni’s proposal for one total stop at departures from Libya. In short, the naval blockade.

But is Italy really left alone by Europe at the moment in the management of immigration? What do the data on landings and migratory flows say?

Migrants, record landings at the beginning of the year

According to the government, the immigration issue is made even more urgent by the data from the first few days of the year. Since the beginning of 2023 I have been in Italy landed 3,673 (data from the Interior Ministry as of 9 January 2023), an undoubtedly greater flow than in previous years. In the same period in 2021 they counted each other 287 migrants landed and in 2022 the number rose to 378.

For the moment, the data on landings photograph a sharply increasing trend compared to January 2021 when 1,039 had registered and also to 2022, which had reached 3,035 migrants landed over the entire month.

Is Italy really left alone by Europe on migrants?

But Italy is really left alone to face the immigration emergency?

According to ISPI processing of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) data for the year 2021 in Italy refugees are 0.2% of the population.

Among others, in France are 0.7%, in Germany 1.5% and in Sweden 2.3%. Instead, analyzing the data for the migratory flows of 2022published by the European Commission let’s see how: in total they were 2.4 million Schengen visas issued and 0.38 million were rejected, which equates to an EU-wide rejection rate of 13.4% (down from 13.6% in 2020, but up from 9.9% in 2020). 2019).

Most applications were submitted in:

  • Russia (536 000)
  • Turkey (272 000)
  • Ukraine (194 000)
  • Saudi Arabia (173 000)
  • Morocco (157 000)

Most visa applications have been reviewed by:

  • France (652 000)
  • Spain (483 000)
  • Germany (346 000)
  • Greece (296 000)
  • Italy (213 000)

In Europe, Italy is the last for visa applications examined and, instead, as regards the first asylum applications ranks fourth behind Germany, France and Spain.

The data, therefore, show that migratory flows weigh not only on “first landing” countries such as Italy and Greece but also on central European nations such as Germany. With many other countries which, on the other hand, are not directly affected by the flows or forced by EU rules to welcome a significant number of immigrants.

The controversy over NGOs and ports of disembarkation

On the management of migratory flows there was a hard discount between Italy and France. However, the Meloni government managed to include the issue of immigration on the agenda of the extraordinary EU Council scheduled between 9 and 10 February. The Prime Minister argues that they should be defended the external borders of the EU and stopped the landings.

Meanwhile, after the approval of the flows decreeit started tight on NGOs who can only carry out one rescue at a time and ask for the safe haven which is not said to be the closest one to reach. It is important that once the safe haven has been determined, it is reached without delay.

For those who do not respect the rules, there are administrative sanctions, the detention of the vessel and, in extreme cases, confiscation.

There controversy over the fight against NGOs is high. On the one hand, the numbers speak of a useless contrast because the landings made by non-governmental organizations are negligible compared to the total, as shown by the ISPI graphs and data.

According to Matteo Villa, ISPI, it makes no sense to fight against NGOs because «they make up only 11% of the total number of landings. Even less than in previous years ».

On the other, i governors of the Regions raise the controversy because the ports assigned by the Viminale in the last few days have been those administered by the Pd, Livorno, Ravenna and Anconawhere the Ocean Viking and Geo Barents ships are expected.

Migrants, does Italy really want the reform of EU rules?

In recent years, Italy has pressed for one reform of the Dublin Regulation, which creates a new asylum and migration management system to better allocate asylum applications among Member States. That is, a new solidarity mechanism that guarantees the timely processing of applications. A long-awaited reform, but which is not shared by some “Northern countries”, including Sweden, which is currently the rotating president of the Union.

Despite the pressing of the Meloni governmentHowever, the opposition points out that in recent years the centre-right parties, above all the Lega and Fratelli di Italia, have voted in a contradictory way on some proposals to reform the European rules.

This certainly makes the current government’s request to revise the migrant reception system in Europe.

Help us do more!

We want readers to be at the center of our work.

However this is not possible if we are supported only by advertising.

Activate a subscription today and discover the advantages we have reserved for you.


Migrants, is Italy really abandoned by the EU?