The President of the Italian Council declared at the end of the last European Council that Italy was “alone to face the migration problem”. Little taken up by the media, these words reflect the feeling of abandonment of the peninsula by the EU.
The little phrase of Mario Draghi, the President of the Italian Council, at the last European Council on 24 and 25 May was hardly taken up in Europe. However, the assertion according to which “Italy is alone to face the migratory problem” marks a notable change of position, especially coming from this fervent defender of the European construction. Mario Draghi had indeed declared on several occasions that the end of the sovereignties of the Member States was necessary to have a strong and competitive EU within globalization.
This position comes in a context of still significant migratory pressure and after a statement on the issue of migrants by Totò Martello, Chief Magistrate of Lampedusa. An intervention taken up by the Italian daily Il Giornale: “There is a need for mechanisms that safeguard Lampedusa and its community, we are a border territory not only Italian but also European. Brussels must also assume its responsibilities. ”
Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, the anti-immigration party, always very reactive on the subject, also recently put pressure on the President of the Council by declaring: “With millions of Italians in need, we cannot think to thousands of illegals. ” A situation which forced Mario Draghi to react at this European summit.
To say that Italy has been abandoned is therefore a rare direct attack on Mario Draghi’s part vis-à-vis the European Union and its member states. Forced to come to terms with the only means available to the peninsula to cope with the intensification of migratory waves, the former president of the European Central Bank added: “We will continue to face the problem on our own until the next European Council. It is up to all of us Europeans to prepare it well in order to arrive at a solution that is effective but also united. ” The President of the Italian Council affirmed to have “raised the question”, which “will be put on the agenda of the next European Council”, he insisted. He also warned against the fact that “putting the problem to sleep does not [ferait] not disappear ”, and found that“ there [avait] awareness of the problem ”on the part of France and Germany.
The distribution of migrants in the EU, Mario Draghi’s hobbyhorse
At the same European Council held on May 24 and 25, Emmanuel Macron also briefly mentioned, during a press conference, his exchanges with Mario Draghi on the subject of migration. He had brushed aside any concrete decision to send the debate back to the June Council. The President of the Republic was thus content to outline avenues for reflection, stressing the need to act on “the external side” and to protect “our common borders” by exerting “a lot of pressure on the countries of the first time. arrivals ”. He called for the responsibility and solidarity of each of the member countries and called for the resumption of control of migratory flows from Libya. Emmanuel Macron said, however: “We would be lying to ourselves if we thought to resolve the immigration issue in its entirety in June.”
Until then, Italy will have to deal with the few means at its disposal. Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, on 10 May 2021 underlined the need to adopt the new Pact on migration. “I call on the Member States to help with the relocations, I know that it is more difficult in a pandemic period but I think it is doable, that it is time to show solidarity with regard to the ‘Italy’, she announced in particular.
Among the subjects which will certainly be on the table of this next European Council, the Malta agreements will figure prominently. Framing the distribution of migrants between European countries, Mario Draghi did not hide his desire to renegotiate them so that its provisions are better applied. Benefiting from the support of Paris and Berlin, however, he encountered fierce opposition from Austria. Its Minister of the Interior, Karoline Edstadler, declared that co-development with African countries would be a more suitable solution. The objective would at the very least be to alleviate the migratory pressure that Italy is undergoing, then this pressure is exerted more than ever in the Mediterranean, as was the case in Ceuta recently or in Cyprus, which declared itself in state of migratory emergency.
It is however to be feared that the distribution constitutes only a short-term solution for the countries directly confronted with the phenomenon, and not a key for the resolution of the problems represented by the migratory crisis.