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Minister Moavero Milanesi attends informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich)

Minister Moavero Milanesi participated in an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) held today in Vienna, where the topic of migration in the Mediterranean was also discussed at Italy’s request. 

Several sides of this important topic were discussed. Besides specific issues relating to the EU “Sophia” mission, the need for greater European commitment to support countries of origin and transit of migrants and the absolute need to be more effective in countering human trafficking were also discussed. The main element of convergence between the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers was the confirmation of the principle for a more equitable distribution of responsibilities. 

Considering the informal nature of the meeting – as for all “Gymnichs” – conclusions or decisions were neither anticipated nor conceivable. Therefore ,there was an intense and varied exchange of opinions in a climate of positive and constructive convergence. 

The ideas put forward by Italy are considered a very useful contribution to the general reflection and generated several consensus. Italy will continue discussion of these topics in close liaison with other member States and with EU institutions.

Minister Moavero observed unanimous awareness and the explicit commitment of his colleagues regarding the need to find appropriate solutions soon on the more urgent issues regarding migration, centered on a balance of responsibilities and their distribution between EU member States.

The calendar for upcoming, urgent work includes meetings of: COREPER; PSC to define the “Sophia” mission; formats of the EU Home Affairs, Defence and Foreign Affairs Councils. It is quite llikely that the topic will be addressed also during the informal Heads of State or Government Summit on 20 September in Salzburg.  

The outcome of today’s meeting represents positive news for the overall consensus achieved and for the determination to finding a valid solution, especially when considering the situation prevailing only a few months ago.