Italian minister raises idea of new European migration policy

It is “necessary to define a united and constructive position for a new European migration policy”, Lamorgese told the newspaper La Repubblica in an interview ahead of the summit of the five Mediterranean EU countries. [EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI]

The idea of a new European migration policy was floated by Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese during an interview ahead of the Med5 summit that gathers Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.

It is “necessary to define a united and constructive position for a new European migration policy”, Lamorgese told the newspaper La Repubblica in an interview ahead of the summit of the five Mediterranean EU countries.

Lamorgese will meet the interior ministers of Spain, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus, in Venice for the summit on Friday and Saturday (3-4 June). The meeting follows ministerial discussions between the countries last year.

The ministers will discuss migration flows and the Ukraine crisis and aim to reach a “compromise between accountability and solidarity measures for a new European migration policy”, Lamorgese said. The war in Ukraine, the food crisis it threatens to cause worldwide, and the climate crisis, are urgent matters that need to be dealt with at the EU level, she added.

“Europe cannot imagine being able to receive all economic migrants who intend to leave from Africa and some Asian countries”, paving the way to a strategy aimed at governing migration flows, the minister also said.

Meanwhile, the number of migrants arriving in Sicily with rescues starting again in the Mediterannean have picked up once again. Departures are mainly from North Africa, and an increase of almost 30% was registered in April and May.

This year, 18,841 migrants are recorded to have entered Italy so far, which is 4,500 more than in the same period in 2021.

But people continue to die at sea, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Since the start of the year, around 650 people have died in shipwrecks at sea while NGOs mostly carry out rescue procedures.

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