Italy urges 'similar courage with EU pact as recovery fund'

Stability of Med ensures security of all Europe, says FM

04 December, 18:19

    Italian FM Luigi Di Maio Italian FM Luigi Di Maio

    ROME - On the EU's new pact on migration and asylum, "we expect the same courage from the European Commission as was shown with the Recovery Fund", Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Friday.

    He was speaking at the Med Dialogues event and noted that Italy is the second largest contributor to the Africa Fund and that it must at the same time deal with both the problem of migrant arrivals and that of redistribution and repatriation.

    The event was organised by the Italian foreign minister and the Italian think tank ISPI. "At the political level, stabilization" of the Mediterranean area "ensures the security of all Europe", Di Maio said.

    "Order and stability along the entire backbone that, from the Sahel and across the larger Mediterranean area, reaches our continent,'' he continued, ''are the preconditions to contain threats'' that ''loom large over everyone, from terrorism to transnational organised crime to human trafficking''.

    ''I believe that it is important to work for a cooperative equilibrium in the Mediterranean, avoiding solitary adventures that create only a chain of reciprocal damage,'' the minister added.

    ''Our countries,'' he continued, ''can do a great deal together. We can create a strategic revision of the policies of the southern neighbourhood of the EU that is both ambitious and realistic''.

    Di Maio said that these policies should be based on ''the principle of shared participation in 'Mediteranean public goods' and on positive incentive plans for north-south cooperation in line with a 'more for more' approach.'' ''We can and we must,'' he said, ''continue to collaborate with the UN and as part of the US process that are still producing results, if defended and appropriately supported, from Libya to Yemen and Syria. Our overall weight in NATO, also, enables us to apply pressure in order to strengthen operativeness and projection along the Southern flank.'' ''In a wider geopolitical perspective, a more orderly and less polarised enlarged Mediterranean, the result of cooperation between cohesive blocs of countries that belong to the region, makes it possible to better protect the essential commercial routes that transit through it. Above all, this reduces the space for action by external powers in the area. If the EU abdicates from its role as main actor, the gaps of power that we leave will inevitably be filled by others,'' he stressed.

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