Migrants on arrival in the port of Motril, Spain, 1 September 2019 | Photo: EPA/MIGUEL
Migrants on arrival in the port of Motril, Spain, 1 September 2019 | Photo: EPA/MIGUEL

Following a meeting of interior ministers in Rome, Italy and Spain are calling for increased involvement from the EU to support border countries facing migrant arrivals.

Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez met in Rome on Thursday last week at the interior ministry and said there needs to be "increased involvement" by the European Union "in support of EU external border countries". 

Shared management of migrant flows and Dublin reform 

In addition to migrant pressure in the Mediterranean, the meeting focused on the need for shared management of migratory flows and reform of the Dublin Regulation, ahead of a summit in Malta with Italy, Germany, France, Malta, the Finnish rotating presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission. 

Lamorgese and Grande-Marlaska Gomez also said they are in "full harmony" regarding efforts for strengthening international cooperation in terms of security, particularly in terms of fighting terrorism. 

Decisive drop in arrivals to Spain and Italy compared to 2018 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 63,417 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea this year as of September 18, a figure that highlights a 20 percent drop compared to the 78,372 arrivals in the same period last year. A total of 16,894 migrants have arrived in Spain thus far this year, nearly 50 percent less than the figure for the same period last year (34,238). 

A total of 6,570 migrants arrived in Italy through September 18, a decisive drop compared to the 20,859 migrants that arrived in the same period in 2018. The highest number of arrivals in 2019 has been in Greece, where a total of 32,767 migrants have disembarked thus far this year. 

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