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“It is imperative that the co-legislators continue to work on the Pact for Migration and Asylum, in order to arrive at the adoption of proposals before the end of the Legislature”. This is what the President of the European Council Charles Michel writes in the letter of reply to the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, following the shipwreck of migrants that took place in Cutro on 26 February. “The implementation of the conclusions of the February European Council is crucial. There is no time to lose and that is why the Swedish Presidency of the Council and the Commission will inform us on the progress so far already during the next summit on 23 and 24 March ”, says Michel.
Italy’s commitment is needed
On this issue, the President of the European Council highlights the need for Italy’s full support. “I hope that the agreed measures will be taken as soon as possible and I count on Rome’s support: by working together and acting decisively, we must prevent such terrible tragedies as the one off the Calabrian coast from being repeated”. In this regard, Michel highlights what was discussed at the meeting of the European Council on 9 February, which was dedicated precisely to the issue of migration. “Here we affirmed our collective determination to develop an adequate European response to the complex phenomenon of migration. We agreed on a number of practical and concrete measures in the field of increased external action, enhanced cooperation on returns and readmission, control of the EU’s external borders, fight against instrumentalisation, trafficking and smuggling of migrants. We have also evaluated the possibility of using legal migration”, argued Michel.
Palazzo Chigi’s answer
Giorgia Meloni’s government immediately expressed its appreciation for the words of the President of the European Council. “What President Michel said is in full harmony with the action of the Italian government in Europe aimed at better managing migration and combating the trafficking of migrants”. The reference to the need for a common European action is also inevitable. “After the terrible tragedy of Cutro, the common commitment to an adequate European response to the complex phenomenon of migration makes the implementation of what was decided at the February European Council even more urgent”, states the response note, also listing the main fields of intervention. “As underlined by President Michel, concrete measures of increased external action, enhanced cooperation on returns and readmissions, control of the EU’s external borders and the fight against trafficking in human beings need to be implemented, using all policies and instruments needed by the EU”. There is obviously no lack of Rome’s confidence in the progress of the European discussion on the issue: “For the Italian government, President Michel’s determination regarding a rapid implementation of what was agreed at the February European Council represents a further step forward in view of the meeting in March ”.