The image shows migrants landing on Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO
The image shows migrants landing on Lampedusa | Photo: ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO

The Italian government has announced a 'control room' on immigration following dozens of landings registered in Italy over the past few days.

Over the next few days, Italian Premier Mario Draghi is expected to launch a 'control room' on immigration. This follows the recent arrival of approximately 2,000 migrants in Lampedusa between May 8-10.

The arrivals, along with sparking a political controversy on one of the key issues for the League party, had the effect of putting the issue on the government's agenda.

The summer, which is expected to bring a slow recovery from the COVID emergency, could register a rise in landings in Italy and Europe, observers say.

All ministers involved in the theme of immigration are expected to be included in the 'control room'.

Draghi wants the utmost coordination of all branches of the executive on this issue, well-informed sources said.

If the landings continue, Italy could put the issue back on the agenda of upcoming European meetings, possibly already at an EU Council at the end of May, the sources noted.

Several weeks ago, Draghi called for proportionality and solidarity in the redistribution of migrants in Europe.

The open issues

The dossier does not only concern landings but also focuses on the situation of instability in southern Sahel, and the surveillance of coasts in Tunisia and Libya, which the government says has been ineffective so far, according to well-informed sources.

On the issue of containing the spreak of COVID, there are currently enough quarantine ships for new arrivals but calls for tenders will reportedly need to be renewed.

Speaking at a G7 Foreign ministers' meeting last week, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio put immigration on the agenda. "Italy can't do everything alone" was the concept which, sources close to the minister said, Di Maio reiterated to his counterparts.

 

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