Change Sophia port rules Trenta asks EU

'Constructive' attitude needed says Mogherini

(ANSA) - Vienna, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta on Thursday asked her EU counterparts to change the rules of EU anti-human-trafficking mission Sophia so that Italy no longer has to take all the migrants who are rescued.
    In 2015, she said "it was thought that action in extra-territorial waters would only be a first phase".
    She said "things in Libya took a different tack and Sophia's presence has now lasted for three years.
    "So far, as Italy, we have taken all the migrants saved on our own.
    "This is no longer possible, I say so on behalf of the government. The rules must be changed.
    Trenta added that "Europe's image is at stake in the Sophia mission".
    She said "in some respects Sophia shows that Europe can be a security provider, but I think the image of Europe is at stake with Sophia...our proposal aims to introduce a rotation in the landing ports and a coordination unit that assigns the port to the competent country".
    EU member States should be "constructive" on changing the rules for the ports that the Sophia mission that rescues migrants at sea, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said on her way into the meeting Thursday.
    Mogherini said some proposals had been discussed in July and August to solve the issue of the Sophia landing ports.
    "Today I'll see if there is room and what kind of room to find a response.
    "This requires a constructive attitude and responsibility on the part of all member States".