Minister for Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni, who is participating in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, asserted that the EUNavFor mission against people traffickers was an a first step and a small part of the European initiative, underscoring that it was fundamental that the 25-26 summit produce a “binding” accord on the relocation of refugees.
The next steps
The mission’s next steps are linked with the decisions of a UN resolution, but it is important for Italy (which had a dynamic role, since the decision to dispatch the naval mission emerged from “the extraordinary summit of two months ago proposed by Italy”) that EUNavFor be under Italian command. Gentiloni also underscored that the European initiative must take shape in the coming days and that it was fundamental that a more general accord emerge from the Thursday/Friday summit on the relocation of migrants who have a right to international protection.
At that summit, the Minister added, “it will be necessary to achieve an accord that puts the binding commitment to solidarity on the relocation of migrants in writing, because solidarity cannot be an option, but must be an EU commitment. Gentiloni was confident that there were margins for convincing the reluctant countries: “I think that the negotiations of recent weeks has created the grounds for an accord, but we’ll see: we are going to have to work on it over the next few days”.