Migrants, Italy insists on a “European solution”

Both Italy and France want a European solution to the migration issue that has provoked a tough confrontation between Paris and Rome with the Ocean Viking case.

Though a phone call between the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron has lowered the tension, the government remains firm on its demands, expressed in Brussels by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

Dialogue and confrontation

“A serene confrontation, without fractures, where the will on the part of finding a common solution has emerged,” Tajani told reporters, commenting on the meeting with his counterparts at the Foreign Affairs Council. “It was not a specific point on the agenda, but we had to talk about it because some events in the Mediterranean made it inevitable”, the minister’s statements.

“I had a very positive long interview with the French minister. His participation in the debate was also serene “, says Tajani.” Obviously, after the conversation between Mattarella and Macron, the tone was more serene than in recent days “.

The European dimension of the issue was also underlined by the Undersecretary for European Affairs, Laurence Boone, who replaces Minister Cathrine Colonna (who is involved in the G20 in Bali) did not fail to underline on her arrival: “I will recall the importance of European unity, responsibility for human lives and the solidarity of Europeans. And I will take this opportunity to thank the eleven countries that help France to welcome the refugees who arrived last weekend, “she said.

The attack on NGOs

Citing a report by the Frontex agency, Tajani re-proposes the theory according to which NGO ships operate in collaboration with human traffickers, setting up meeting points in the open sea, where migrants can be transhipped.

“They are ships that do not provide rescue at sea, but they have appointments in the middle of the Mediterranean with traffickers who bring people and unload them on NGO ships. This must be controlled and regulated by the European Union: there is a code of conduct and in our opinion it must be reinforced “, the minister’s words.

Also for this reason, Italy has asked, in a joint declaration with Greece, Malta and Cyprus stricter rules on non-government vessels, along with a permanent and effective redistribution mechanism of approved persons.

The rule that provides for the landing of these ships in Italy, notwithstanding, has also been challenged it concerns the application of European and international lawaccording to which every castaway must be taken to the nearest safe place.

What solution from Europe?

Right there violation of this principle in the Ocean Viking casereiterated recently by the European Commission, caused the French irritation.

“We report one unilateral, unacceptable, ineffective and unfair decision taken by the Italian government: a decision that deserves a European response “, said Olivier Véran, spokesman for the French government, also defining the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni the” loser “in this affair.

In response, the Paris government has the already planned relocations of asylum seekers from Italy have been suspended and strengthened border controls. The disappointment remains, waiting to discuss the matter in the competent forum and take concrete measures.

Tajani assured the willingness of all countries to find a solution, but nothing concrete emerged from the first debate, as summarized by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell. And at the momentthere is not even an extraordinary meeting of the Union’s interior ministersrequested by the Commission.

The “European solution”, which everyone says they are aiming for, still seems to be on the high seas.

Migrants, Italy insists on a “European solution”