The development lever to govern migration, the Rome summit is underway

The development lever to govern migration, the Rome summit is underway


Stabilization and development of the “enlarged” Mediterranean and of an important part of Africa. The International Conference on Development and Migration to be held today at the Farnesina building is the first stage of the “Roma Process”, a medium-term diplomatic political program that the government of Giorgia Meloni is implementing which up to now was (and still is) known as Piano Mattei, a term destined to change its name and be filled with content. Representatives of 21 countries from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, international organizations of the UN system (Unhcr, Iom, Fao, Wfp), the EU at the highest levels, with Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, and then from Washington, the IMF and the World Bank, as well as other multilateral financial institutions are arriving in Rome. The goal is certainly ambitious: to launch a global and inclusive strategic multi-year platform that involves all the protagonists. The initial impetus came from the issue of growing migrations to Italy, the first Mediterranean landing port – landings have tripled since the beginning of the year, 78,182 to date – but then the project expanded considerably.

The development project

Today, therefore, the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, with her deputy and foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, will meet heads of state and representatives of the countries interested in this development project, countries which can be said to be divided into three blocks: the EU ones in the Mediterranean (Spain, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, as well as Italy), those which “support” for various reasons African countries, therefore in the Middle East (Kuwait, Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, Oman) and those in Africa directly interested in the theme of migrations and the Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia). Turkey is also present, strategic on all issues. As can be seen, therefore, the gaze is on the migration routes both from the Sahel and the Horn of Africa and on the specific dossiers, starting with Libya, on whose quadrant, perhaps the most strategic for Italy, various countries, including the Gulf, operate. The message, and also in some way the commitment, is to create “tailor-made” solutions when fully operational, abandoning scattered and isolated aid from EU countries (this refers to the “Tunisia-model” referring to the protocol signed in Tunis a few days ago), in coordination also with the Arab and Global South countries.

Password: political stability

The watchword is: political stability to create social and economic development (assistance in the field of education and training for young Africans should play a strong role), preventing further waves of irregular migration, in respect of human rights. But with a basic principle: responsibility must be shared. On migration, the Rome summit will launch some basic issues that are priorities for Italy: strengthening measures against clandestine networks, in particular with joint patrols, measures to trace and freeze the profits of human traffickers, joint actions between police forces to curb criminal smuggling networks, international partnerships on migration, including in the field of repatriation and reintegration, involving international organizations.

The precedent of Lebanon

This is a political work that began a few months ago – the technical pivot of the project is the sherpa of Palazzo Chigi, ambassador Luca Ferrari – which in its format perhaps represents a first time in our diplomacy: an observer points out that something similar (in terms of modality) happened in July 2006 again at the Farnesina for the International Conference on Lebanon, with the Prodi government and Minister D’Alema. Starting tomorrow, most of the participants will move to the FAO for the UN summit on food systems: Rome will therefore be a political-diplomatic crossroads for four days.

The next stop

The next stage will be the Italy-Africa summit in October, in which Italy invites all African countries. The international platform of the G20 followed, where Prime Minister Meloni and Minister Tajani have already asked the Prime Minister of India Modi to ensure that the issue of development for the Global South is at the center of the work. Furthermore, in agreement with the UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed, Meloni also asks that the issue of climate change be addressed at the COP28 to be held in the Emirates in November December in harmony with the “Rome Process”, therefore with a view to social stabilization and therefore development.


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