Germany, Italy underscore common stance on migration

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 18.2.2018 12:05

During a meeting on 16 February in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the shared German-Italian approach on migration, highlighting the reduction of migratory flows, the fight against smuggling networks, and the repatriation migrants arriving via Libya, as their common achievements.

The two leaders also expressed their hope in reaching an EU level consensus on the European asylum system reform, and on 17 February Merkel stated a solution in this regard should be found by the end of June. She also confirmed the critical attitude of Germany and Italy towards the V4 countries, which refuse to share the burden of taking in asylum-seekers, demanding instead a tougher common stance on protecting the EU southern border. The immigration debate was reignited by a 13 February Frontex report, showing that 4,800 migrants (twice as many as in December) arrived in Italy from Africa in January. Eritreans, Pakistanis, and Tunisians are among the most numerous ethnicities, but the proportion of Libyans is also on the rise. Migration is at the centre of the pre-electoral campaign for the March parliamentary elections in Italy, and remains an issue of debate in Germany where a new government is about to be formed.

About author: Tomáš Hošek


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