NewsEuropeVon der Leyen presents a European plan to contain the migration crisis...

    Von der Leyen presents a European plan to contain the migration crisis that Lampedusa is experiencing

    The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, promised on Sunday, September 17, a joint and “rapid” response against the “brutal business” of the illicit trafficking of migrants in an irregular situation and the dangerous routes that end in the countries of the European Union, after touring the small island in the south of Italy, the epicenter of the Mediterranean migration crisis and which this week was the focus of an unprecedented arrival of migrants, without permission, in a single day.

    4 min

    The head of the community bloc of the 27 European countries toured this Sunday, September 17, the access point that migrants in an irregular situation have used for decades to reach Europe: Lampedusa, a small fishing island in the south of Italy, which is Thursday, September 14, it received almost 7,000 migrants in less than 24 hours, a figure that even exceeded the number of inhabitants of the island, which is around 6,000 people.

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    For the European leader, the visit marks the beginning of the deployment of rapid strategies to counteract the rise in migrants in an irregular situation in the countries of the continent.

    “It is very important for me to be in Lampedusa today. “I am here to offer a coordinated response by the Italian and European authorities,” Von der Leyen said before presenting his plan with the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni.

    During her visit, Von der Leyen spoke of a strategy to provide a prompt solution to the “brutal business” of migrant trafficking. For her, it is the leaders of the European countries who should decide “who comes to the European Union and under what circumstances… Not the smugglers.”

    This way, presented a 10-point plan to contain the migration crisis in Europe, among which is “exploring options to expand existing naval missions in the Mediterranean or to work on new ones”, and increasing air surveillance of the Mediterranean.

    Another point of the project seeks to accelerate funds to Tunisia as part of an agreement with the EU to block departures from the African country. This is the migration agreement that Brussels signed with Tunisia last July and that includes macro-financial aid of more than 1,000 million euros in exchange for migration containment measures.

    France 24 © France 24

    He also proposed accelerating asylum applications submitted in Italy and, thus, defining the immigration status of people who arrive on the island more quickly.

    The plan considers the creation of humanitarian corridors in countries of origin to discourage illegal routes and promises to provide support from the border agency Frontex to guarantee “the rapid return of migrants to their country of origin”, and in safe conditions, if not They qualify with the EU’s minimum requirements to remain in European territory.

    One of the most controversial points is the solidarity mechanism by which other European countries would accept voluntary transfers of migrants in an irregular situation arriving in Lampedusa, a request to which France and Germany, countries in the bloc, have recently responded negatively.

    Irregular migration is a European challenge and needs a European response. So we are in this together, Von der Leyen said.

    Previously, on Wednesday, September 13, the German Government announced that it was suspending the voluntary reception of asylum seekers from Italy. A decision justified by the current “strong migratory pressure”, as announced by the German Ministry of the Interior.

    “Of the more than 12,400 applications for reception submitted to Italy this year until the end of August, 10 transfers have occurred so far,” said Maximilian Kall, spokesman for the German Interior Ministry, who also reproached Italy for not accepting to asylum seekers independently.

    Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy, has softened her recriminatory stance against the European Union since coming to power in October last year, but in her words to the press she made clear her pressure to achieve an “efficient naval blockade,” arguing that previous EU missions “were not deployed correctly.”

    If we do not all work seriously together to combat illegal departures, the numbers of this phenomenon will not only overwhelm the bordering countries, but all the others, Meloni stated.

    According to statistics from the Italian Ministry of the Interior, almost 126,000 people have arrived in Italy by boat this year, a high number compared to 66,000 at this time last year, and 42,000 in 2021.

    If the trend continues, this year could be on track to approach the record set in 2016, when some 132,000 migrants had arrived by the end of September.

    Crisis in Lampedusa: 6,700 migrants have arrived in the last 24 hours

    France 24

    France 24 © France 24

    Lampedusa, focus of migrants in an irregular situation in Europe

    Tensions are increasingly evident among the island’s residents, who constantly ask the Government for a response to the thousands of people who arrive without permit documents.

    Lampedusa, which is closer to Tunisia than mainland Italy at around 145 kilometres, is the first port of call for people traveling from North Africa. This makes the Sicilian island one of the most important reception points for migrants in an irregular situation in Europe.

    At the end of September and beginning of August, the number of boats loaded with migrants, without an arrival permit, rose, largely due to the summer weather conditions in the Mediterranean area.

    Before the peak of 6,800 migrants arriving in one day, the record number had been reached on September 12 when 5,000 people arrived in less than 24 hours, according to figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior.

    With AP and local media.

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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