Rome (Caasimada Online) – In an international conference held in Rome on Sunday, Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, put forth an urgent plea for international cooperation to counteract the issues of unauthorized migrant influx across the Mediterranean.
“Mass illegal immigration harms each and every one of us,” Meloni asserted, “No one benefits from this, except criminal groups who profit off the most vulnerable and use their strength against governments.”
With a shift from her previously stern rhetoric, Meloni signaled her government’s openness towards accepting more immigrants via legal avenues, acknowledging that “Europe and Italy needed immigration.”
However, she emphasized the need for a more proactive approach in discouraging unauthorized, dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean.
A blueprint for the future
Taking a cue from Meloni’s call, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reinforced the sentiment, underscoring the EU’s commitment to legal migration routes.
Only last week, the EU inked a “strategic partnership” with Tunisia, one of the significant departure points for migrants. This deal aims to intensify the battle against human traffickers and tighten border controls.
Von der Leyen confidently proclaimed, “We want our agreement with Tunisia to be a template.
A blueprint for the future. For partnerships with other countries in the region.” The EU also intends to cooperate with Tunisia and other countries in enhancing renewable energy production, a mutual benefit for all involved.
Italy, grappling with an ever-increasing number of unauthorized migrants, is urgently seeking viable solutions.
Notably, migrant centers like the far southern island of Lampedusa are overwhelmed by new arrivals.
Paradoxically, the country, with its aging and declining population, needs an additional workforce to bolster its economy.
In response to these challenges, Italy recently committed to issuing 452,000 new work visas for non-EU nationals from 2023 to 2025, raising the annual visa cap to a record 165,000 in 2025.
The comparative figure for 2019, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, was a mere 30,850 visas.
The country has seen a surge in arrivals this year, with over 83,000 individuals reaching its shores, a sharp increase from approximately 34,000 in the same period in 2022.
Global leaders join the dialogue
Mohamed al-Menfi, head of Libya’s Presidential Council, welcomed the initiative, expressing readiness to alleviate migrant suffering.
Similarly, Pope Francis, addressing crowds at St. Peter’s Square, urged European and African governments to ensure the Mediterranean was never again “a theatre of death” for those attempting to cross.
Foreign Ministry Antonio Tajani insisted on addressing the root causes of migration.
“We have to confront each other on the big issues of climate change, the fight against terrorism, diseases, poverty,” he said.
While the increasing inflow of illegal migrants is stressing countries across the Mediterranean, global leaders recognize the dire need for a comprehensive, internationally coordinated solution.
This problem is multifaceted, touching upon human rights, economic stability, and national security.
As discussions continue, the international community keeps a hopeful eye on potential long-term strategies to resolve this crisis.