Arrivals on Italian shores back on rise
More than 60,000 migrants have entered the country this year
9 June, 2017
Since the Balkan route was closed and the EU-Turkey deal signed, Italy remains the main arrival point to the EU for migrants and asylum-seekers. At their meeting on 8 June, the members of the EP Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) led by its chair Claude Moraes discussed with Domenico Manzione, Undersecretary of State, Ministry for the Interior, the state of play of the asylum and migration issue in Italy also in the context of the expected augmentation of the summer flows. Recently LIBE MEPs mission visited Italy for exploring the situation on the ground.
According to the Italian minister, the EU legislation does not really define hotspots very clearly and the Italian interpretation for them is that they don’t differ greatly from normal reception centres, except that they carry out identification procedures. We introduced the use if mobile hot spots and through them the police forces managed to indentify the people who arrived at our shores or were saved at the sea, Domenico Manzione clarified, noting that this is useful approach. Most of the activities authorities conducted are concentrated on the Mediterranean. He pointed out that no reception system or structure can be effective unless you know how many persons arrive and who they are, he also stressed, saying that there is a link between reception and security.
According to information prepared by the Italian authorities, from January to June this year the new arrivals on the Italian shores have risen by 25,72%, compared to the same period of 2016. It means that in the first six months of this year, more than 60,200 people have arrived, against the figure for the arrivals last year – 47,883. More sea crossings are expected in the next months due to improving weather conditions. As UNHCR sources show, 1,778 persons have died or gone missing trying to reach Italy since the beginning of the year. Under the two emergency relocation decisions adopted in 2015, 39,600 asylum-seekers likely to be granted refugee status should be transferred from Italy to other EU countries, but till 2 June only 6,502 have been moved.
The lawmakers underscored that the situation with migrants and asylum-seekers in Italy is serious, but noted that they are impressed how Italian authorities are managing the problem. They asserted that for stopping the human trafficking, EU should open legal and safe channels for migration.