Migration crisis: Ex-Commission President Prodi blames European leaders

Romano Prodi. Rome, 17 March. [Alessandro Di Meo/EPA]

Romano Prodi points the finger at European politicians’ lack of action in the Libyan conflict, and its consequences for the migrant crisis. EURACTIV’s partner Italia Oggi reports.

“The migration situation is out of control because of the Libyan war, which should have only lasted a few weeks, yet it has now been going on for longer than World War II. It’s not enough to sign a pact between the two governments.”

The UN-backed government in Tripoli, and the parliament-backed, military-oriented one in Tobruk have recently committed to a truce during talks brokered by French President Macron.

“Some 20 Libyan tribes need to be on it, for they detain a lot of power. But I don’t see any serious attempts from European leaders,” said Prodi.

The former president  of the European Commission presented his book The Inclined Plane (Il Piano Inclinato) in Scicli, Sicily, on Thursday (17 August), and shared his thoughts on the ongoing debate on NGOs involved in migrants’ rescue: “It is necessary to have clear rules in place but saving human lives should always be a priority.”

Migrant rescue NGO accuses the EU of 'hiding the dirt' under the Mediterranean

Speaking about the refugee crisis and the Lybian and Syrian conflicts, Óscar Camps, director of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, accused the EU of “hiding the dirt under the carpet” of international waters in the Mediterranean sea. EURACTIV Spain reports.

NGOs active in international water have recently come under fire in Italy for allegedly aiding illegal immigration by trespassing into Libyan waters to search for overcrowded dingy boats.

Recent threats by Libyan coastguard have prompted three NGOs to suspend their operations.

Italian authorities are requiring NGOs to sign up to a “code of conduct”, including accepting armed police aboard the rescue ships.

NGOs say Italy’s ‘code of conduct’ threatens migrants’ lives

Thousands more refugees could be at risk of dying at sea if a proposed ‘code of conduct’ for NGOs conducting search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean is put into practice, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday (12 July).

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