“A new deal for migration and asylum” to better distribute the forces within the European Union, next president of the European Commission, Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, said on Friday in Rome.
“I want to propose a new pact for Migration and Asylum. We need a new solution,” she told reporters previous to a meeting with Italian Head of Government Giuseppe Conte.
“We want our procedures to be effective but also human. It’s not an easy task but we have all understood that there are no easy solutions” to manage migration flows, von der Leyen said.
“It is necessary to review the concept of distribution of responsibilities. We know that Italy, Spain and Greece are geographically exposed. It is fundamental to guarantee solidarity” of the EU in these countries, the next European Commission President believes, who is visiting several EU capitals prior to taking office on 1 November.
Italian Head of Government Conte said that according to Rome, it was “not conceivable that the migration issue continues to depend on the first country where they (migrants) arrive.”
Von der Leyen was in Rome when two aid ships with more than 160 migrants aboard were sailing in the Mediterranean, close to the Italian and Maltese waters, looking for a safe port to land.
The Italian populist government has decided to close its ports to NGOs rescuing migrants, arguing that the EU has not as yet shown solidarity in this area.
The deep divisions within the EU on sharing the welcome of migrants has made impossible for the moment any reform of the Dublin Regulation, which currently entrusts the country of arrival the charge of processing asylum applications.