EU Negotiations on Immigration Continue Despite NGOs Provocation

Politics - October 2, 2023

The issue of migrants can no longer be postponed. Europe seems finally determined to find a real agreement. The meeting of the Council “Justice and Home Affairs” of the European Union was held on 28 September, attended by the ministers of the interior of the member countries. A solution should have been found with the “Pact on Immigration and Asylum” but Germany’s proposal has not convinced any more nations. For example, both Poland and Hungary were strongly opposed. The first because it considers the Pact to be inadequate, the second because it claims that the regulation will have the effect of opening the doors to irregular migrants. The Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Piantedosi, also participated only in the first part of the Council and did not even make official statements. He preferred to go to Palermo to meet the interior ministers of Libya and Tunisia. Two bilateral important to continue working with a view to blocking departures from North Africa. Moreover, because Italy has asked for time in order to be able to make all the due analyses regarding the German demands. Especially regarding the part of the Pact concerning the protection of migrants and the NGO node.

The proposal provides that in certain cases recognised by the European Commission, a form of mandatory solidarity is activated with the redistribution of irregular migrants, or alternatively, financial contributions to countries most exposed to migration flows. The main problem on which the real game is played, however, concerns NGOs.

Italy is waiting for answers from Germany, from the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to whom Giorgia Meloni, President of the Italian Council and President of the European Conservatives wrote a letter asking for clarification of the funds allocated by the German government to NGOs engaged in the reception of irregular migrants on Italian territory. The dispute stems from the money that Berlin has given to non-governmental organisations. In particular: 780 thousand euros sent to Sos Humanity (an NGO flying the German flag that operates in the Mediterranean) and 420 thousand euros to the Community of Sant’Egidio that does not carry out rescues at sea but assistance on land. This has led to several disagreements.

To understand how important the issue of immigration, a battle that has always been fought by the Conservatives, the UN also intervened: “The situation in Lampedusa is a cause for serious concern. UNHCR is present and appreciates the efforts of the authorities to quickly decongest the island, but Italy cannot be left alone in responding to the needs of arrivals”, these are the words spoken during a meeting of the Security Council by Ruven Menikdiwela, head of Ny’s office for the UN refugee agency. A real crisis where the common position of all European Conservatives is that of the right not to leave one’s own nation.

As it was said earlier, President Meloni pressed the German Chancellor on this issue. The same has also done the Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. What is proposed by Italy seems as simple as it is logical: if an NGO takes migrants into the sea, it must land in the nation whose flag it flies. As Meloni explains: “You cannot show solidarity with the borders of others”. To achieve this goal, President Meloni, during the Med9 in Malta, had a trilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Macron himself said that a single European response is needed. Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Slovenia, countries most affected by this problem, are also in the same position as Italy.