Monday, September 25, 2023

Von der Leyen supports the Italian proposal to launch a European naval mission to stop immigration in the Mediterranean

The President of the European Commission (EC), Ursula Von der Leyen, tried this Sunday to show that Italy is not alone in the face of the migration challenge by visiting Lampedusa, the small island in the central Mediterranean where more people live in recent times Days, more than 10,000 immigrants were added, a number higher than the local population, made up of about 6,000 neighbors. Accompanied by the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Von der Leyen visited the reception center, which had been cleaned after the collapse of the past few days and where she did not meet with the displaced people, later presenting a plan with 10 points with which they should be confronted the arrival of undocumented immigrants in Europe. “Irregular immigration is a European challenge and needs a European response.” “We are in this together,” said the EC’s “number one,” advocating the implementation of “concrete measures” based on “solidarity and unity” among the twenty-seven . “Italy can count on the European Union,” he even dared to say in Italian.

Apart from the usual promises to promote cooperation with countries of origin and transit, the harsh tone towards human trafficking networks and the commitment to promote legal routes to emigrate to Europe, without however clarifying the specific aspects, Von der Leyen supports Meloni’s proposal to address this problem address the problem was striking. It is about launching a European naval mission to prevent boats loaded with migrants from North Africa from reaching the Italian coast. It would be a repeat of Operation Sofia, which was launched in 2015 but canceled four years later because it was said to have had a “call-in effect” on migrants. “I support the possibility of launching new missions in the Mediterranean,” said the President of the European Commission.

Meloni pointed out that this eventual deployment should be based on Sofia’s experience, but in such a way that the presence of the ships at sea, in coordination with the authorities of North African countries, serves as a deterrent factor and not as a call. “It is the only serious way to address this problem,” stressed the head of the executive branch in Rome, who advocated “accelerating the implementation” of the European agreement with Tunisia and even opened the possibility of Brussels financing part of its budget. Von der Leyen said that if the experience with Tunisia was finally positive, it could be transferred to other transit countries for migrants.

Immigrant Permanence

Meloni will present these topics at the next European Council in October. In addition, the Council of Ministers that the Italian government is holding this Monday will adopt rules to maximize the length of stay of irregular immigrants in reception centers so that their return to their countries of origin can be guaranteed. To this end, Meloni tasked the Ministry of Defense with organizing a network of emergency shelters across the country.

So far this year, more than 127,000 people have disembarked irregularly in Italy, twice as many as in the same period in 2022. The increase is largely due to the severe economic, political and social crisis in Tunisia, which has left sub-Saharan Migrants are supposed to embark for Europe from their shores. Tunisians also represent the third most common national group among immigrants arriving in Italy after crossing the Sicilian Canal. That surge has led Meloni himself to draw criticism for his immigration management from the Lega, one of the parties in the conservative coalition supporting Rome’s executive.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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