With the situation becoming ever more pressing along the Central Mediterranean Route, the Commission is today setting out a series of immediate measures that can be taken by the EU Member States, the Commission and EU Agencies, and Italy itself.
Building on the work of the past two years to save lives at sea and manage the increasing numbers of arrivals along the Central Mediterranean Route, all actors now need to intensify and accelerate their efforts in line with the increasing urgency of the situation and the commitments undertaken by EU leaders. Today’s measures should form the basis of discussions at the informal Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Tallinn on Thursday.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The dire situation in the Mediterranean is neither a new nor a passing reality. We have made enormous progress over the past two and half years towards a genuine EU migration policy but the urgency of the situation now requires us to seriously accelerate our collective work and not leave Italy on its own. The focus of our efforts has to be on solidarity – with those fleeing war and persecution and with our Member States under the most pressure. At the same time, we need to act, in support of Libya, to fight smugglers and enhance border control to reduce the number of people taking hazardous journeys to Europe.”