The European Commission had decided to extend the Frontex joint operation Triton to at least the end of 2015 and to allocate emergency funding of 13.7 million euros to Italy. The decision is the Commission’s response to the letter sent by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, to the High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and to the other 6 commissioners responsible for migration issues.
“This is a first step in response to the Italian government’s requests”, declared Minister Gentiloni. “We are confident that the commissioners’ summit of 4 March 2015, which will be discussing the migration agenda, will decide on further action to take to address this urgent challenge”.
In his letter, Minister Gentiloni underscored the gravity of the emergency, which saw a 59% increase with respect to 2014 in the numbers of boatloads arriving in the first 45 days of the year.
The two Commission vice-presidents, Mogherini and Timmermans, underscored in their response to the Italian government that it is vital to work together to resolve the crisis situations in the countries of our region, starting with Libya. They added that this is not just a moral duty but also a strategic interest and political priority for the entire European Union.
“Italy confirms its readiness to contribute fully and put its experience in the migration field at the disposal of all to help find an increasingly effective European response”, concluded Minister Gentiloni.