The migrants’ crisis will be at the heart of the meeting in Tallinn of EU interior ministers on Thursday, 6 July, to discuss an urgent “action plan” by the Commission. Asked by Italy, who is alarmed by the incessant and massive arrivals of migrants on its coasts, the ministers aim to “conclude that there are a will and means to support Italy And make a difference by using the measures put on the table by the Commission, “according to a European source. The meeting, in an “informal” format, was scheduled for a long time on the timetable of the new rotating EU presidency, held by Estonia.
But the urgency is there. On Wednesday, Italy threatened to stop accepting the entry of its ports to foreign vessels transporting rescued migrants to the Mediterranean, urging the Commission to do nothing before discussing it with the other Member States and Humanitarian NGOs. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has called on his European partners to make a “concrete contribution” to help his country, on the front line to gather those who embark on the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean. Around 100,000 migrants have arrived in Europe since January, with more than 85,000 arriving in Italy and 9,300 in Greece, International Organization for Migration (IOM). Brussels presented a “plan of action” less than a week after fisting on the table of the Italians, which will serve as a basis for the discussions of European ministers on Thursday morning. This is the first item on the agenda of a meeting that should, in any case, address the issue of migration, which remains a headache for the EU.
A “code of conduct” for NGOs
According to a European source, the Estonian Presidency hopes to find the support of its 27 colleagues on “more or less what is” in the Commission’s action plan, even though Italy, “basically, More than what is in the document “. Rome has put forward ideas that would make more use of the rest of the EU, such as distributing the rescued migrants to its Mediterranean neighbors or accepting that the European distribution plan in the EU of asylum seekers since then Italy and Greece became less restrictive. These “relocations” currently concern mainly Syrians and Eritreans, but the Iraqis are, for example, no longer eligible. The problem of Italy,
In its action plan, the Commission proposes to better coordinate the rescue actions in the Mediterranean with the Libyan coast guard, which it wishes to better train and equip with aid of EUR 46 million, but also With the Egyptian and Tunisian authorities. The EU also wants to significantly improve the effectiveness of “returns”, ie returning to their country of origin those who are not eligible for international protection. Brussels has also renewed its call for ‘solidarity’ among the Member States. The promises of hosting migrants currently in Greece and Italy, in line with the quotas set in September 2015, are being slowed or even ignored by Hungary and Poland.
In preparation for the meeting on Thursday, Italy also drafted a proposal for a “code of conduct” for NGOs chartering boats to rescue migrants, an 11-point code sent to the Commission and the various delegations. Said a source close to the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs. In parallel with the meeting in Tallinn, several European and African foreign ministers (from countries of transit and provenance of migrants) meet in Rome, also on the theme of migration.