Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and the Deputy Premier and Minister for Home Affairs, Angelino Alfano, co-chaired a meeting of the Foreign Affairs-Home Affairs Working Group at the Farnesina today, 7 November 2013.
Discussion focused on the many aspects of migration and the development of a strategy to prevent the recurrence of tragedies like the one that took place off the coast of Lampedusa. Another topic was the need for joint action to address the growing flow of migrants fleeing crises regions such as Syria, the Horn of Africa and the Sub-Saharan countries, and from the coasts of Libya and Egypt.
As part of the preparations for the Italian EU Presidency in the second half of 2014, the working group also examined possible European initiatives following on from the October European Council. The Council identified the migration emergency as a common EU problem and proposed that Frontex, the border management agency, be strengthened.
Proposals that could be examined by the Mediterranean Task Force meeting on 20 November in Brussels were also discussed. In addition to the European dimension, Ministers Bonino and Alfano also agreed on the need to accompany help at sea with intensive dialogue and close cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin and transit.
The two ministers also discussed the day-to-day sea patrols and monitoring and control operations by Italian navy vessels, and how best to build on their work – most notably, the “Mare Nostrum” military-humanitarian operation.