Rome, Jan 21 (IANS/AKI) The European Commission has reopened negotiations on migrants and asylum and soon there will be a new European pact on the issue of migration, Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio indicated on Tuesday.
In a post on Facebook, Di Maio reiterated Italy’s call for the burden of migration to Europe via the Mediterranean to be more fairly shared among EU states.
“Italy has paid for wrongs it did not commit and today we sent a clear message: the EU cannot manage without Italy and for this reason we expect our demands to be met,” he wrote.
Di Maio held talks on EU migration policy earlier on Tuesday at the Foreign Ministry in Rome with European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Employment and Integration Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the ministry tweeted.
“We need a new beginning for the EU. A common repatriation policy and the introduction of a mandatory redistribution system among member states for asylum-seekers,” it said.
In September last year, the current left-leaning Italian coalition government signed an agreement with several EU partners including France and Germany, to automatically share the number of migrants who landed in Italy or Malta.
Boat migrant arrivals in Italy have plunged in recent years, due to the hardline policies of former Interior Ministers Marco Minniti and Matteo Salvini and Italy and the EU’s strengthening of Libyan Coastguard patrols. After Greece and Spain, Italy remains one of the main landing points for migrants heading to Europe.