Today the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, has met the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Stef Blok, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a side meeting within the strategic Italian/Dutch Van Wittel – Vanvitelli Round Table.
Minister Di Maio has first expressed the hope that bilateral cooperation will continue to strengthen, stressing the fact that the Netherlands are a sound, long-standing partner for Italy, in a relationship characterised by ever increasing trade, and consistent bilateral investment.
The Ministers have agreed on the importance of coordinating the response to COVID-19, highlighting how common efforts at an EU level have made it possible to safeguard European citizens’ health, while minimising their freedom of movement within the Schengen area.
Minister Di Maio has also expressed his satisfaction with the solution reached by the latest European Council, on the issue of the Rule of Law, which opened the way to implementing the EU budget and the Next Generation EU plan, by means of which Italy wishes to play a role in relaunching the European economy, while dealing with some of the factors that have slowed growth in our Country in recent years.
As regards negotiations for a new Pact on migration and asylum, the two Ministers have agreed on the need to extend the external dimension of the European approach to migration, by means of a real European policy based on partnerships with the migrants’ Countries of Origin, and those through which they transit, the conclusion of readmission agreements at an EU level, and a European policy on repatriation. Minister Di Maio has reaffirmed that Italy deems a real balance between solidarity and responsibility to be essential, and how this has to include mechanisms for obligatory and efficient redistribution.
Finally, Minister Di Maio has gone through the main features of Italy’s G20 Presidency with Minister Blok, expressing the hope that he will attend the meeting of the G20 Foreign Ministers, to be held on June 28-29 June in Matera, to which the Netherlands has been invited at Italy’s initiative.