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Italy, France, Germany Agree on Common Approach to the Migration Crisis

Italy, France and Germany have agreed on a common line to tackle the current migration crisis in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, with Berlin reportedly expected to back the Italian line.

Scholz reportedly forced his executive to give the green light to reform EU asylum law at a meeting of interior ministers in Brussels on Thursday and back Italy’s line on the migration management regulation. As for France, Macron, who met Meloni in Rome on Tuesday, spoke of a “shared vision” on migration management.

“Member States cannot tackle the migration issue alone. Meloni has really opted for a coordinated European approach, and that is a very concrete and important signal,” Elysée sources said, speaking of a friendship between the two countries “that sometimes allows for disputes, but also for agreements, but always within a respectful framework”.

Ahead of the EUMed9 summit of southern EU leaders in Malta on Friday, the same sources say that Rome and Paris will promote a common position and “concrete proposals” in the relevant fora, including agreements with migrant origin and transit countries, the fight against “human traffickers” and the strengthening of “controls at sea”.

Screening for asylum seekers is also something the three leaders agreed was necessary in the case of arrivals, with a “reinforcement” of the resources available in the first reception centres, in particular on the island of Lampedusa (Sicily), which is continually being overwhelmed by the number of arrivals.

To raise her concerns about the immigration crisis in Italy, Meloni also wrote a letter to the partners of EUMed9 and, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, stressing the importance of working towards a common and coherent position to make the action more effective, and the need to insist on the rapid implementation of the common approach agreed at the European Council summit in February.

Meloni’s appeal, diplomatic sources explain, is to continue her efforts to give signals and have immediate results, referring to the memorandum with Tunisia signed in July when Meloni, von der Leyen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Tunis with Tunisian President Kais Saied. “Everything that goes in the right direction is good. We are working, diplomacy matters”, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP).