Von der Leyen presents a European plan in Lampedusa to transfer migrants to other countries

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenvisited the island of Lampedusaone of the busiest migrant arrival points in the Mediterranean, and has announced a “action plan” to help Italy which includes, among other measures, accelerating the deportations of migrants who do not have the right to asylum.

The third of the ten points of the action plan foresees “increasing returns by assuming a new and coordinated approach between the main countries of origin of new arrivals, that is, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Burkina Faso to improve cooperation and facilitate readmission”.

It also specifies “increasing Frontex support with training and improving means to ensure rapid implementation of returns.”

The plan also includes “strengthen support” for Italy of the European Union Asylum Agency and the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) to “manage the high number of migrants” and “guarantee the registration” of those who arrive in Europe by taking fingerprints, information and redirection to “the appropriate authorities.”

Von der Leyen presented the plan in Lampedusa accompanied by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloniwho has argued that “the future of Europe is at stake“. For this reason, he has defended the need to “retake the second and third phases” of the naval mission Operation Sophia.

Furthermore, Meloni recalled that the Council of Ministers scheduled for this Monday will discuss the rule “to extend the detention with a view to the repatriation of those who arrive irregularly in Italy up to the maximum allowed under European regulations.” “The Ministry of Defense will immediately adopt measures to create the structures that are necessary,” he explained.

A “European problem” that requires a “European response”

Regarding strategy, Meloni has argued that “we will never solve the problem by talking about redistribution.” “The only way to deal with the problem seriously is to stop illegal departures“, he added.

For her part, Von der Leyen has highlighted the importance of her visit to Lampedusa. “Illegal immigration is a European problem that requires a European response“, he argued. “We will be the ones who decide who reaches Europe and not the traffickers,” he stressed.

Traffickers are unscrupulous people who make billions by putting people on boats with lies: they put them in danger just to make money,” he stated.

“That is why it must be explained in the countries of origin that if you opt for traffickers you can lose your money. If you come legally, we will welcome you“, he assured.

In particular, the ten-point plan refers to the island of Lampedusa and thus contemplates “supporting the transfer of people from Lampedusa” to other countries through the voluntary solidarity mechanism “with special attention to unaccompanied minors and women.”

It also includes an “increase in maritime and air surveillance” through Frontex and aims to “expand naval missions in the Mediterranean.” It also plans to prevent the use of dangerous vessels for crossing and the destruction of those that have been used to cross the Mediterranean.

Seeking to help the most vulnerable

The strategy also highlights the importance of “avoid leaving” countries of origin promoting rapprochement with their governments and combating human trafficking mafias in these countries and also in transit territories. The plan mentions Tunisia in particular because of its proximity to Lampedusa.

Thus, the plan proposes “awareness and communication campaigns to discourage crossing the Mediterranean” and in parallel propose “alternatives such as entry for humanitarian reasons and legal means.”

To this end, Von der Leyen has announced Margaritis Schinas’ next visit to African countries as Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Promotion of the European Way of Life to achieve their collaboration.

Specifically, Meloni and Von der Leyen have visited the “cemetery” of boats used by migrants to reach the island. The deputy mayor of Lampedusa, Attilio Lucia, who has warned that it is “an ecological bomb” that also prevents fishermen from going out to fish. Meloni has promised that the beach will be cleaned in four or five days.

The two leaders were also able to speak with Red Cross volunteers and visit the Lampedusa Immigrant Reception Center for about ten minutes.

From Save the Children they have highlighted that the visit of Von der Leyen and Meloni to Lampedusa is “an important sign“but they have highlighted the need to preserve their human rights.

They are the most vulnerable peopleparticularly minors who arrive unaccompanied, very young children, people who have survived gender violence, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.” “Now they pay the price for years of lack of coordinated policies by the States members of the European Union,” the NGO lamented.

Source: Lasexta

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts