EU migrant plan needed - Gentiloni

Italy-Libya cooperation 'perfect example' says Macron

(ANSA) - Paris, August 29 - A European strategy is needed to solve the migrant crisis, Premier Paolo Gentiloni said after a Paris summit between the leaders of Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Libya, Niger and Chad.
    "We also need a commitment by all EU states", the premier said after a summit that agreed on the need to sort economic migrants from refugees in sub-Saharan Africa with the help of the UN, which will also help improve conditions in Libyan migrant camps.
    Macron said the cooperation between Italy and Libya that has seen a drastic fall in migrant numbers thanks to a crackdown on NGO rescue ships was a "perfect example". Some 35 refugees are set to arrive at Fiumicino today thanks to the humanitarian corridors project promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community.
    There will also be a technical meeting at the interior ministry with the Italian association of municipalities, ANCI, on evictions of squatters and finding them alternative lodgings in properties seized from the mafia, among other things.
    The meeting comes after last week's controversial eviction of some 800 Eritrean refugees from a Rome building they had occupied for four years.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday "Libya is a fragile State and must be strengthened". She said "control of the coasts in Libya is needed and Italy is giving important contributions". Italy has forged a deal with Libya to turn back migrant boats and has also cracked down on NGO rescue ships to stop migrant traffickers. In Paris the European leaders vowed to make radical changes to the way migration is managed by giving greater support to front-line countries such as Italy.
    Managing migration and fighting human trafficking "is a challenge that concerns everyone and that no-one can meet on their own" said French President Emmanuel Macron after Monday's summit in Paris involving the leaders of France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Niger, Chad and Libya. A follow-up summit with the same format will be held in Spain in late October or early November to monitor progress, while Macron said a special task force is already operational to oversee the implementation of commitments on the ground. The idea of sending equipment and soldiers to African countries to assist with identification has also been legitimised. Taking joint action "is a moral requirement … but also a principle of action and effectiveness" the 39-year-old leader said. Macron also said he is in favour of a "profound reform" of the Dublin treaties regulating asylum in the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for changes to the Dublin system, which currently puts southern Mediterranean countries of arrival at a disadvantage. "A distinction needs to be made between economic migrants and genuine candidates for refugee status," said Merkel on the eve of elections in Germany.
    The idea is to identify migrants who are entitled to asylum in Niger or Chad "in order to ensure their safety as quickly as possible", Macron explained. This procedure will be carried out in safe areas under the supervision of the UNHCR on the basis of "closed lists", he added. This will prevent "women and men from taking ill-advised risks in an extremely dangerous area and subsequently in the Mediterranean", Macron continued. The plans include greater cooperation on security and justice and in some cases also a military presence to prevent migrant flows towards Libya from swelling further. Spain highlighted the need to "create development" in source countries, "eliminate the trafficking syndicates" and control "our borders and our coasts".


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