EU plan: relaunch voluntary solidarity mechanism – “Member states must accelerate the implementation of the solidarity mechanism agreed on 22 June 2022 that addresses the bottlenecks identified so far, improving flexibility, streamlining processes and implementing the financing of alternative measures”. This is what can be read in the 20-point action plan on the central Mediterranean route presented today by the European Commission.
“To this end, the Solidarity Platform will review the Standard Operating Procedures for relocation in order to achieve more efficient and faster procedures, including to provide swift support to Member States receiving arrivals by sea. of Solidarity will match proposed projects and financial contributions to kick-start the implementation of alternative solidarity measures through projects consistent with the identified activities and needs.The links between the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism and the actions foreseen in the External Dimension of Migration will also be strengthened. The EU-AA will prioritize support to Member States in the rapid implementation of the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism through its operational plans and tools.The Solidarity Platform will continue to coordinate the implementation of the Mechanism, identify ways to improve it and consider consideration of additional commitments, if necessary I”.
Frontex to consider more support to Mediterranean States – The EU border control agency “Frontex, together with the Member States concerned, will carry out a targeted assessment of the situation in the Central Mediterranean to identify needs for enhanced support through joint operations, air and sea surveillance, capacity building and situational awareness to Member States outside borders”.
Johansson: rescue obligation but clarity is needed on private ships – Presenting the plan, the EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said that “the legal obligation to rescue and guarantee the safety of life at sea is clear, regardless of the circumstances that lead people to find themselves in a situation of hardship. Saving lives is always the first obligation, but there are many challenges here. Today’s situation of private vessels operating at sea is a scenario that still lacks sufficient clarity. This current challenge was not considered when the maritime law has been agreed for the first time, more cooperation is needed between Member States, flag and coastal states and other relevant actors”.
Piantedosi: “Satisfied with the contents of the plan” – The Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, says he is “satisfied with the contents of the plan announced by the European Commission. The text puts at the center of the discussion some important issues regarding the management of migratory flows and does so in the perspective already desired by the Government Italian. I am convinced that it is a valid outline of common work”.
“Shared need for Italy on cooperation” – In particular, underlines the owner of the Viminale, the issues that most concern Italy concern “sharing the need for more intense cooperation with the countries of origin and transit of migratory flows, also through the implementation of specific European investment programs on those territories and the reference to an implementation of the solidarity mechanism adopted last June, in consideration of the fact that its concrete application, up to now, has given absolutely insufficient results for Italy”.
“Importance of coordinating search and rescue activities” – Equally important, continues Piantedosi, is “the aspect relating to greater coordination of search and rescue activities in the SAR areas, which provides, as requested by Italy for some time, a role also for flag states”. Starting from the meeting scheduled for Friday, therefore, concludes the minister, “we will work for any further enrichment of the European action plan”.