Migrants, Meloni: “The EU has given us the first answers, it’s time to act, not to discuss”

In an interview with Il Foglio, the prime minister outlines the balance of the first six months of government: “Immigration must be regulated, we cannot allow traffickers to choose who arrives in Italy”. And on the role of Europe: “In the last European Council”, “I not only found listening, but full collaboration”. Then he adds: “The situation in Tunisia worries me, the services tell us that a potential wave of 900,000 people is preparing to land in Europe”

“Immigration is a phenomenon that must be regulated, we cannot allow traffickers to choose who arrives in Italy. They are the first enemies of those who can find acceptance and rebuild their lives in Italy”. To say it is the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni who, in an interview with The paper six months after the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella gave her the task of forming the government, she talks about the role of Italy and Europe in the migration issue, but also about Pnrr, Mes and the war in Ukraine.

“It is no longer time to discuss, but to act”

“Immigration – says Meloni – is not a topic ‘separate’ from the geopolitical framework that I have tried to describe. The conflict in Sudan, the presence of the Wagner group in Africa, as President Mattarella recalled, are another chapter in the ‘long war’ between old, new and emerging powers. At the last European Council, this fact emerged clearly and we welcomed the debate for the quality and the decisions that have taken place. I have informed the European partners and I have not only been listened to, but fully collaborated. Everyone now knows what the problems are and the size of the challenge. It is no longer time to discuss, but to act”. “The problem of the southern border is not only Italy’s – he adds – but the whole of Europe. The situation in Tunisia worries me every day that passes, it needs an urgent response, the services tell us that a potential wave of 900,000 people is preparing to land on the shores of Europe”.

“We closed the era in which Italy was silent”

“Our diplomacy is committed with determination in all diplomatic offices – Meloni continues – the financing of 1.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund to Tunisia must be released, the European Union and the World Bank must move. Given the subjects involved, it is clear that a collaboration that goes beyond the borders of the EU is needed: Africa also needs action from the United States, from its allies”. “The European Union – continues the Prime Minister – has given an initial response to our analyzes and proposals: in just two Councils in Brussels, that of 9 February and that of 23 March, we managed to change the paradigm. We have closed the era in which Italy was silent: we reclaim our active role and ask that the other states build a new European migration policy with us”.

The three points for the EU

“With these foundations – explains Meloni – the three points in which the European Union must commit itself are a logical consequence. First point: the EU must launch a naval and air operation for the surveillance of the central and eastern Mediterranean and the fight against traffickers in human beings, in close coordination and support with the countries of departure, which in turn must be equipped with all the necessary means to cut off the route. This new policy of securing the external borders must be accompanied by a common management of the repatriations of the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants present on European territory”. Then “the EU must have a robust financial capacity for economic investments in the African continent, funding must be disbursed on the basis of binding agreements, measurable in terms of objectives and results, first of all with the states which are today the starting points of migrants and with the poorest countries that need immediate help: virtuous cooperation in exchange for a commitment to fight illegal immigration. Third point: a widespread presence of Europe in training, education and research for the young people of the African continent, concrete openness to the participation of women in the life of institutions, cultural growth and awareness of rights (I am also thinking of the great theme of freedom religion in countries where people still die because they are Christians) and the duties of every human being who constitute Africa’s greatest heritage”.