Migrants, Piantedosi: “We need to continue negotiating on the EU pact”

Interior Minister in Luxembourg for Internal Affairs: “We cannot propose a reform that would in fact be doomed to fail”

“We cannot propose a reform that would in fact be doomed to fail, therefore in the terms in which the latest negotiating proposals were presented to us” on the regulation on migration and asylum management and on that of asylum procedures, Italy believes that “there are still many things to do. I don’t want to immediately express a clearly opposite position, but on some points we have to imagine the possibility of negotiating again on a sustainable European system”. Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said this in his speech in Luxembourg at the EU Internal Affairs Council, where the Pact for migration and asylum is being discussed.

The position of the Italian government, continues Piantedosi, is “a position of responsibility, also towards Italian and European citizens”. According to the minister, there are still “many things to do”. To create a “sustainable” European system, to be implemented gradually”, he explains, it would be necessary to start “from a reasonable adequate capacity, which we would like to be quantified as 20,000 places, with a multiplier of at most two; something that concerns the annual ceiling of adequate capacity: we would believe mere notification is enough to suspend the mandatory border procedures”. “We also believe it is necessary – he continued – to have greater flexibility in the application of the principle of a safe third country, eliminating the obligation to verify the existence of the connection; on the terms of responsibility, I must ask that those linked to illegal entry must provide for cases Sar 12 months, and not those other longer ones that have been proposed”.

“In all of this – he added – we continue to feed strong doubts about the practical functioning of the relocation systemi, including financial compensation, since they have not worked so far. Finally, it would be essential to include a clause for reviewing the system after one year, precisely to see if the system can work or not. Without these possibilities for refining the text, it would be very difficult for us to accept a text that would appear to us as a stretch for which we frankly would not understand the reasons, if proposed in the terms in which it was proposed”, he concludes.

”I must point out that, in the last year, faced with a dramatic increase in flows from the central Mediterranean, European solidarity with countries of first entry has translated into the redistribution of around 1,500 people overall, well below the limited commitments undertaken”, added the minister, emphasizing that therefore the redistribution system was a failure. ”I remember these events – he added – because they are questions that are the subject of very strong attention in my country, where the memory of the tragedy of Cutro is still alive and where a locality, such as Lampedusa, from a natural and tourist oasis, in the perception collective, has turned into an immigrant management center with very heavy damage to the local socio-economic fabric”.

”To tackle the migratory phenomenon, therefore, it is not enough to have new European regulations, but a strong external action by the Union is needed. Indeed, only in this area is it possible to find the structural solutions we need to prevent flows and encourage repatriations. It is precisely for this reason that I asked for a point today on the external dimension and, in particular, on the situation in Tunisia”, Piantedosi affirmed.

It is crucial for Italy to keep attention high on the Tunisian situationas evidenced by the mission of President Giorgia Meloni, last June 6, and our request to have a specific point also on the occasion of the next European Council”. The minister recalled that Tunisia is increasingly also a transit country of the irregular immigration, not only of departure.