what it is and how it will work – Corriere.it

what it is and how it will work - Corriere.it


A four-page letter followed by a seven-page attachment with an account of what was done from March to June 23: the letter that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sent to EU leaders ahead of the European Council on 29 and 30 June that immigration will also be on the agenda. An issue that is now central to all the Twenty-seven and not only to countries of first entry such as Italy, Greece or Spain and which requires urgent action in the face of the repetition of tragedies in the Mediterranean. Von der Leyen indicates in the agreement with Tunisia the model to follow for the future to strengthen agreements with third countries and asks EU leaders for a financial effort to address the new priorities.

Steps forward and the June 9th agreement

Compared to the extraordinary European Council of February and that of March, von der Leyen underlines that progress has been made on the new one Pact for migration and asylum with the agreement reached between EU countries in the Internal Affairs Council of 9 June last year on two important regulations, which made it possible to start negotiations with the EU Parliament. An agreement described as “historic” by the EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, after seven years of negotiations. But it is a medium-long term structural solution that does not help to deal with the emergency of deaths in the Mediterranean now. For von der Leyen, however, together with the proposals of Eurodac, Screening and Crisis, it is a compromise that strikes the right balance between solidarity and responsibility

But to advance the EU’s collective response it is essential that, while we work on the Pact – von der Leyen writes in the letter viewed by Corriere – we continue to act decisively and implement operational measures and in parallel we begin to reflect on a future implementation plan. Last week’s shipwreck is another call to action, underlining the urgency of stepping up our work with partner countries, redoubling our efforts in the fight against migrant smuggling, limiting irregular departures on overcrowded and inadequate vessels and to work on alternative legal paths, thus ending unnecessary suffering and the unfortunate loss of life. For von der Leyen it is necessary to continue to develop new ways to advance on these objectives, also through thinking outside the box.

The role of third countries and the Tunisian model: the 5 pillars

collaboration with third countries is essential and for the president of the EU Commission, the goal should be to ensure that our current initiative with Tunisia serves as a model for similar partnerships in the future. That is to say a global partnership based on five pillars: macro-financial assistance as soon as the necessary conditions are met, strengthening economic and trade ties, cooperation on green energy, migration and increasing contacts between people. Commissioner Vrhely is expected to finalize a memorandum of understanding with Tunisia on all these issues shortly. Strengthening Tunisia’s capacities on migration and border managementexplains von der Leyen, will allow us to work together on the main challenges: the fight against the smuggling of migrants, the management of migrants within Tunisia, repatriations to their countries of origin and readmission to Tunisia.

The president recalled her mission to Tunis with the Italian premier Giorgia Meloni and the Dutchman Mark Rutte, that of the EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson and the visit of Vice-President Margaritis Schinas to Egypt in March and of the High Representative Josep Borrell on June 17th. You updated EU leaders on the work to implement the Action Plan for the Central Mediterranean, with the delivery of two other vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard to strengthen rescue and rescue capabilities. You then highlighted the importance of continuing to strengthen cooperation with Morocco and West African countries for the western Mediterranean route and with Turkey for the management of Syrian refugees.

The president also mentioned the results obtained along the Western Balkans route with a significant reduction in the movements of irregular migrants. The EU also intends to work on the visa system. Furthermore, the Commission will present “a series of good practices” to improve the effectiveness of the Dublin regulation and is also working “closely with the Member States to address the challenges related to search and rescue, improving knowledge of the situation in the Mediterranean , and to put in place a framework for enhanced cooperation in this area”. On the subject of repatriations, for von der Leyen it is urgent to improve their effectiveness to make them more fluid.

In order to be able to land the necessary actions to respond to the pressing migration challenges, we need to make sure that we have sufficient funds for an effective migration and asylum management system, and that we are prepared to deal with unforeseen situations, concludes von der Leyen, who last week he asked the member states for 66 billion euros to flesh out the 2021-2027 EU budget in light of the new political priorities. Money is needed for new global partnerships and for future EU assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey. And the EU leaders will have to discuss this too in three days’ time.


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