Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz | Credit: ANSA/ETTORE FERRARI
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz | Credit: ANSA/ETTORE FERRARI

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz highlighted the need for reforms to EU border agency Frontex and its anti-human trafficking military mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia. The leaders emphasised the necessity of a European solution to migratory flows.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz emphasized the need to reform and strengthen European border controls, coastal patrols, and the fight against human trafficking, at a meeting at Rome's Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government. 


Conte said operational protocols for certain EU missions, such as EU border agency Frontex and its anti-human trafficking mission Operation Sophia, need to be updated "in light of conclusions made at the European Council meeting in June." 

Kurz said Austria hopes to "improve Frontex and strengthen its mandate." 

Austria pleased with reduced migrant flows in Italy 

The Austrian chancellor said his government is "very happy" with how Italy has reduced migrant flows, but said a European solution must now be found, and migrant flows must be reduced even further. 

Kurz said at the June summit, leaders spoke about strengthening external borders, collaborating with African countries, and destroying the business model of human traffickers. 

Conte said EU response needed to avoid another Diciotti 

At the joint press conference, Conte said a European response to the migratory crisis is needed, in order to avoid another case like the Diciotti. "I expressed my country's haste to see more (EU) investments made in North Africa, because they are incomparably more contained compared to those for Turkey," Conte said. "There are many countries to strengthen cooperation with, both transit and origin, to try to offer better protection of migrants' rights," he said. 
 

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