Italy's turn at EU helm 'will push migrant response'
'Great opportunity' to set agenda says Alfano04 October, 15:02
The high-profile EU position "will be a great opportunity to put on the agenda" the issue of migrants and Italy's role as a "strategic plank" in the Mediterranean, he said.
Italy will hold the six-month term in the presidency of the Council of the European Union from July through December 2014.
Alfano spoke one day after a ship carrying as many as 500 migrants fleeing Somalia and Eritrea caught fire and capsized, claiming some 300 lives.
He also called on Europe to assume its duties in protecting all of its borders – including the Mediterranean seas.
"A state that does not protect its borders," is hardly a state, Alfano complained in the Lower House.
"The planes and the military of Frontex (the border management system for Europe) must be vigilant on the Mediterranean".