Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte speaking at the Med Dialogues in Rome on December 4, 2020 | Photo: Fabio Frustaci/ANSA
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte speaking at the Med Dialogues in Rome on December 4, 2020 | Photo: Fabio Frustaci/ANSA

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio have urged Europe to display more courage and commitment regarding the new pact on migration. The politicians consider the reform plan "insufficient," albeit a "good starting point."

The Italian government is once again urging Europe to get more involved in the management of migration flows and to provide greater support to countries of first entry.

At the Med Dialogues 2020 in Rome on December 4, Premier Giuseppe Conte said that the European Commission's new migration pact is "a good starting point but insufficient".

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, meanwhile, asked the European Union to have ''the same courage'' with regards to migration as it has displayed for the Recovery Fund.

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum would require all 27 EU countries to take part. It still requires approval by EU leaders and the European Parliament.

Conte: good starting point, yet insufficient

"We consider the proposal of the Commission'' on the management of the migration phenomenon ''a good starting point but insufficient for the basic imbalance between solidarity and responsibility," Conte said in a speech wrapping up the Med Dialogues 2020 conference last Friday.

The Med Dialogues 2020 in Rome were organized by the Italian foreign ministry and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).

"Migration in the Mediterranean often originate from more distant regions like the Sahel," Conte said during his speech. "The effects of COVID on migration are significant: I'm also referring to a worsening external perception. The danger is that citizens regard migrants in a more conflictual manner."

Consequently, Conte urged for the development of "a framework of global collaboration, in particular a European one based on regular migration flows and on countering irregular ones."

Di Maio: EU must show courage

Regarding the EU migration pact, Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told the participants of the Med Dialogues that "we expect the European Commission to have the same courage shown with the Recovery Fund."

The European Commission's recovery fund, agreed on November 10, is the largest stimulus package in EU history with €1.8 trillion allocated to it.

Di Maio not only recalled that Italy is the second-largest contributor to the EU's "emergency trust fund for Africa", he also pointed out the necessity of confronting the problem of arrivals and that of redistributions and repatriations.

"On a political level, the stabilization'' of the Mediterranean area ''ensures security for all of Europe," Di Maio said.

Italy's foreign minister further said that "order and stability" from the Sahel region via the Mediterranean to Europe are "preconditions to contain threats" like terrorism, transnational organized crime and human trafficking.

"I think it is for the best to work for a cooperative equilibrium in the Mediterranean, avoiding solitary adventures that only create a chain of reciprocal damage," Di Maio added.


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