The announcement follows Italy’s appeal for greater coordinated action
Tags: Rimini, Carl Bildt, Franco Frattini
24th August 2009: Taking cognizance to Italy’s appeal for greater coordinated action, the European Union is expected to come out with fresh immigration policy proposals by October end.
Announcing this during a conference at Italy’s seaside town of Rimini, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the European Commission would issue a policy draft in time for EU foreign ministers meeting scheduled to be held at October end.
This would be the first step as the enormous problem could not be solved in a single meeting, he said.
Earlier, Italy’s foreign minister asserted the EU had come out with several statements, but had not asserted just what should happen when a group of migrants reached the borders of Europe.
Addressing a news conference, Franco Frattini stressed on the need for treating it as a European problem, adding all 27 countries must bear responsibility for these people.
His assertion assumes significance as in Italy thousands of migrants land each year after traveling across the Mediterranean from Africa. Interior ministry estimates suggest approximately 36,900 illegal immigrants arrived in Italy by boat last year. The rise was of 75 per cent compared to 2007.
Italy had only recently asked Malta to let it take control of sea rescue operations in some Maltese waters on the ground the tiny EU island state was not capable of handling the job properly. But Malta rejected the proposal.