Rome, Sep 9 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte on Monday called for “effective solidarity” from the European Union on the thorny issue of migration, saying this had been promised but never delivered by the bloc.
“We can no longer manage without effective solidarity from EU member states,” he told parliament in an address outlining the new centre-left-populist government’s priorities ahead of a vote of confidence – its first test.
“Such solidarity has been announced but so far has not been achieved,” Conte said.
In his speech, Conte called for smoother relations with the European Union than during the previous populist-far-right coalition government (which he also led) and underlined that he would work with Brussels to reform the bloc’s immigration laws and its budget rules.
Italy has long urged Europe to take on a greater share of the burden of migration and wants a mechanism put in place to relocate elsewhere in the 28-member bloc the influx of migrants who arrive on its shores and those of other ‘front line’ states.
The EU suspended its Sofia naval mission in the Mediterranean in March after Italy said it would no longer take part unless its rules requiring ships to land rescued migrants at the nearest port were changed.
Italy also wants reform of the so-called Dublin Regulation requiring migrants to claim asylum in the first EU country they arrive in.