Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio says new EU migrant pact in the offing

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio (R) welcomes EU Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas (L) and European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson (C) during their meeting, in Rome, Italy, 21 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

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The European Union will soon forge a new pact on migrants, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Tuesday.
Speaking after meeting European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner for Home Affairs and Migration Ylva Johansson, Di Maio said “the EU Commission has reopened negotiations on the issue of migration and asylum and soon they will arrive at a new European pact on the migratory question”.
Di Maio added that the EU cannot forge a migrant policy without Italy.
“Italy is the country in Europe that has suffered from the migratory crisis of the last 10 years, in particular since some (countries) bombed Libya in 2011,” he said.
“And that is why we are continuing to say that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis.
“We paid for faults that were not ours and today we sent a clear message to the EU.
“Without Italy, the EU cannot make it, and that’s why we expect our requests to be met”.
He said he had conveyed to Schinas and Johansson “a very simple concept: Italy is the country that has given the most in these years and it has been left on its won, so now it’s up to someone else.
“Also because our country is among the five that have welcomed the most migrants in the European Union, but asylum requests are higher elsewhere, for example in France, and that shows that many of the people who land on our coasts have no intention of staying, instead they want to go to northern Europe. That must lead, according to Di Maio, the EU to intervene with determination, meeting Italy’s requests to supersede the Dublin Regulation, and on voluntary repatriation.
“The EU must above all deal with this resorting to Frontex and must do so drafting a list of safe countries to repatriate to, as we have already done in Italy, in order to speed up the operations.
“In this regard, we must also think of incentives at the EU level towards those African countries, and not only them, that show themselves willing to receive repatriations. Commercial incentives or on visa policy. “Finally, more money for immigration is needed in the EU budget, more resources to help origin countries. “We must prevent, anticipate events, and act on the reasons for migration.”

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