"Over the years, Italy has constantly stressed the need to pay attention to our Southern Neighbourhood. Now it is urgent and necessary to work together, as European Union, to outline a new and ambitious strategic vision". This was stated by Deputy Minister Marina Sereni, speaking at the videoconference promoted by Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Arancha Gonzalez on the prospects of the Southern Neighbourhood, in view of the debate on the impact of Covid-19 in the MENA area (Maghreb, Levant and Gulf), scheduled for tomorrow's Foreign Affairs Council.
"A new European Neighbourhood Policy that will become an integral part of EU global action – Ms Sereni explained – is essential to deal not only with Covid-19health emergency for, but also with the new risks of destabilisation that may come from the Southern coasts, starting with the continuing conflict in Libya and the instability in the Sahel, just to give a few examples".
"A renewed European Neighbourhood Policy – the Vice Minister continued – is important to address the root causes of migration and counter irregular immigration. And it is essential to reap all the benefits that constructive cooperation with our neighbours can offer. For this reason, we share the Spanish proposal to allocate adequate resources and political attention to the Southern Neighbourhood, increasing cooperation with our Southern partners in areas such as environment, climate and health in the Mediterranean".
"It is urgent and necessary – Ms Sereni concluded – that Europe has an ambitious and far‑sighted discussion on how to relaunch our relations with our Southern Neighbours".