Italy never stopped saving refugees, says president

The immigration and landings dossier will be central to the meetings of Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the coming days, on Monday in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and on Thursday and Friday at the European Council summit in Brussels. [Shutterstock/Alexandre Rotenberg]

Italy has never stopped saving refugees in distress at sea, even during the pandemic, said Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday (20 June), on the occasion of World Refugee Day.

The immigration and landings dossier will be central to the meetings of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the coming days, on Monday in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and on Thursday and Friday at the European Council summit in Brussels.

Reaching an agreement on the redistribution – even voluntary – of migrants seems almost impossible at the summit, as demonstrated by the conclusions of the meeting on 26 May.

An agreement to accelerate the partnership and cooperation agreements between the EU and the origin countries of migrants could be easier to achieve. Likely to be on the table is the reform of the European asylum agency (EASO), particularly since Med 5 countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta, Cyprus) are in favour of boosting the agency.

At the meeting with Merkel, Draghi will reiterate that Germany has always participated in the redistribution of migrants, and that is in line with Italy in asking for a solidarity solution in Europe. However, this solution involves the rejection of secondary flows, that is, migrants who move from the first European country where they landed. (Daniele Lettig | EURACTIV.it)

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