February 26. 2024. 5:28

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Meloni will put migration on table at EU Council summit

Immigration, the war in Ukraine and energy are among the priority challenges Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s (Fdi/Ecr) government said it would table at the European Council summit this week, Meloni told the Senate on Tuesday.

The European faces one of “the most arduous tasks in recent decades: ensuring security, protecting the economic fabric, and preparing for radical changes that could loom in the new global balances”, Meloni told Senators.

Saying Italy has a “leading position” in the EU, Meloni confirmed she would bring up immigration even though “a large part” of the February extraordinary European Council was devoted to the topic.

“We are facing an emergency that is becoming structural, this definition is the most realistic snapshot”, said Meloni, who attacked Europe and the West for having “culpably neglected” the issue of immigration for years and left Italy, Europe’s southern frontier, alone.

“Before any hypothetical right to migrate, every human being has the right not to be forced to migrate in search of a better life”, Meloni stressed.

In the aftermath of the Cutro tragedy, where more than 80 migrants lost their lives in a shipwreck, Meloni sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the EU Council. In response, the EU leaders promised maximum solidarity and help to manage the phenomenon.

To solve the immigration ‘problem’, the Italian government believes in stabilising Tunisia – which is on the brink of a crisis.

The European Union, in particular must ensure cooperation on repatriation and border control and share the management of migratory flows with Tunisia, the government added that assistance in the fight against smugglers is also key.

Echoing the comments of Meloni’s government regarding the role of Russia’s Wagner group in increased migration flows to Italy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Alliance supports the European Union “in its action against illegal immigration”, referring in particular to Russia’s strong presence – including in Africa.

The European Union, NATO and the West must note that there is a link between immigration to the “European south”, which is becoming “more dangerous every day”, and the war in Ukraine, Defence Minister Guido Crosetto recently said.

Crosetto had also called for enhanced control of the EU’s (Italy’s) southern border.

“The exponential increase in the migratory phenomenon starting from African coasts is also, to no small extent, part of a clear strategy of hybrid warfare that the Wagner Division, mercenaries in the pay of Russia, is implementing, using its significant weight in some African countries”, he said.

(Federica Pascale | EURACTIV.it)