Pietro Bartolo, a member of the European Parliament and for years the "doctor of migrants" who landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa, said Europe has the greatest responsibility for what is still happening in the Mediterranean and in Libya, and that it "doesn't do what it should do".
Pietro Bartolo, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) with the Democratic Party, said he believes Europe has the biggest responsibility "for what is still happening in the Mediterranean and in Libya."
Bartolo gave a speech Wednesday to the Florence City Council, where he was invited to speak about the recent inspection carried out by MEPs at the border between Croatia and Bosnia.
"When I speak of Europe, I'm talking about member states and I'm also talking about the European Commission that doesn't do what it should do, that is, telling to respect accords, human rights that are systematically violated across Europe, I have to say, including by us," Bartolo said.
Policies on migrants thus far 'a failure'
Bartolo said the migratory phenomenon "cannot be faced like we have faced it thus far, which is a failure. We have certified, we have ascertained that Dublin 3, the current one, was a failure. I was also a shadow rapporteur for the dossier on the implementation of Dublin 3, and we concluded the dossier by saying that it is a failure accepted by the European Parliament. It is a pact that talks about repatriations, that talks about strengthening the borders, about creating a European fortress, and this isn't good.
"It talks about pre-screening, it talks about putting more weight on the shoulders of countries of first entrance and first landing including Greece, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, and I'd also say Croatia. We therefore have to ensure that this solidarity that is talked about in article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is put in place," he said.
Instigation to hate must be prosecuted
"It is arrogant and not political that which is based on the culture of hate, of rancor. I think this is wrong, a crime actually, because instigation to hate must be prosecuted," Bartolo said.
"I think, rather, that politics should give answers" because "it is politics that has to decide whether to close doors or open them, whether to let these people die in the middle of the Mediterranean, or at Lipa, or save them. It is politics that has to decide whether to pay, to recruit Libya or Turkey or not, it is politics that has to decide whether to be on the side of good or the side of evil. It is above all European politics that has to give those answers because the phenomenon of migration, and we could talk for hours, was born with man, it will always exist, no one can stop it," he said.
Therefore, it "must be dealt with differently, not with a fight, with repatriation, with barbed wire, with walls, with mental walls that are harder to knock down because we can't stop people this way, so much so that 30 years later we are still talking about migration, the problem of migration. So I believe the answers must be the right ones based on the values that belong to us, which are solidarity, respect for human rights, respect for the right to life," Bartolo said.