EU must present ‘clear and adequately financed’ plan to handle Mediterranean migration routes – Italian PM

The European Union needs to show a ‘clear and adequately financed’ plan to handle migration routes in the Mediterranean region, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has insisted.

Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting, the Italian PM said European countries must carry out obligations made in June to work with migrants’ countries of origin “with support measures and clear timings”.

Draghi said Italy encouraged a “truly European management of flows” at the European Council earlier this year and said the continent should commit itself more to that end.

The body said in June that “in order to prevent loss of life and to reduce pressure on European borders, mutually beneficial partnerships and cooperation with countries of origin and transit will be intensified.”

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According to the statement issued on June 24, the approach should address all pathways into Europe, as well as be centered on “tackling root causes, supporting refugees and displaced persons in the region, building capacity for migration management… addressing legal migration while respecting national competences, as well as ensuring return and readmission”.

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At the end of September, 686 people arrived by boat at the southern Italian island of Lampedusa overnight. The island is one of the main landing points for migrants trying to gain entry to Italy and also Europe, and the EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has previously called on member states to act in solidarity with Rome and “support with relocation”.

According to data from the interior ministry, around 44,800 migrants arrived on Italy’s coasts from the beginning of 2021 to the end of September.

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