he Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, met today in Rome's Villa Madama. The in-depth talks confirmed the strong synergy existing between Italy and Luxembourg, both founding members of the European Union, which share the commitment to promote the principles of solidarity and effective cooperation that are at the core of the European project.
The Ministers underlined their substantially shared vision on different areas of bilateral interest. In relation to European Union issues, the items on the agenda included: promoting a more efficient management of migration flows, with an effective burden sharing at European level; the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework; Brexit negotiations; the future of the Eurozone. As regards International issues, talks focused in particular on the Libyan situation and transatlantic relations, as well as on relations with the Russian Federation and with Iran.
At bilateral level, the historical relationship of friendship and collaboration between the two countries is consolidated by the presence of a large Italian community in Luxembourg - a community whose contribution to the social and economic progress of the Grand Duchy is widely appreciated and acknowledged. Bilateral relations are boosted by potential growth in the trade sector and a common interest in further promoting investments in their respective markets.
With reference to migration, the two countries fully agree on the need to urgently establish a structured framework of stable mechanisms and rules - at EU level and with the strong involvement of the European Commission - to address the necessary and shared management of a phenomenon involving the whole of Europe, as established last June by the Conclusions of the European Council, and agreed on 31st August at the informal Foreign Affairs Council. The Schengen area is at risk and, in order to safeguard its integrity, it is necessary for member states to fully abide by its rules and to mutually express growing solidarity. In particular, in the context of the reform of the European asylum system, a mechanism must be established with the participation of all countries to provide firm answers to the issue of sharing the duty to welcome migrants rescued at sea and the relative obligations, as established by EU and International Law.
The Minsters also found commonality of views on other important issues at the centre of the European political agenda, such as the future of the Economic and Monetary Union, with the two countries welcoming proposals for tangible and well-balanced instruments for macroeconomic integration. With respect to the next post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, it was agreed that it will have to include adequate resources for implementing a common action in the field of cooperation and development in the countries of origin of migrants, as well as for supporting cohesion between the different European regions, as well as technological research and innovation.
As for Brexit negotiations, a few weeks ahead of October’s European Council, Rome and Luxembourg agree on the need to reinforce the commitment to reach consensus on the terms of withdrawal and on the future relations with the United Kingdom, with the primary aim of avoiding a disorderly exit which would damage citizens and businesses, in the belief that the United Kingdom will remain a key partner in the future. The Ministers agreed that, at the same time, it is essential to solve some of the issues that are key to reaching a comprehensive agreement on the withdrawal, notably the Northern Ireland border and the detailed provisions under the agreement. With this in mind, they reiterated their continued support to the work of the EU Negotiating team and its representative, Michel Barnier, and agreed on the importance of maintaining the unity of action of the Twenty-seven Member States.
Finally, underlining how Italy and Luxembourg were among the Founders of the Union, the Ministers confirmed that they primarily see it as a community based on a legacy of core common values, such as freedom, democracy, respect for human dignity and the Rule of Law. These are values that all Member States have undertaken to respect and it is therefore our common task to contribute to protect them.