Speaking before the joint Senate and Lower House Constitutional Affairs and European Policies Committee, Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said that 5,044 migrants in Italy had already been forcibly removed in the first nine months of 2019.
Comparing the numbers to previous years, Lamorgese said that in 2017, there had been “6,514 forced repatriations of migrants who didn’t have the right to remain in Italy and 869 voluntary assisted repatriations. In 2018, there were 6,820 forced repatriations and 1,161 voluntary assisted repatriations.”
“The rate of repatriations of those who do not have permission to stay in Europe is low throughout the European Union; we need to make it grow while respecting (everyone’s) rights,” Lamorgese said.
Redistribution plans unsatisfactory in practice
The Interior Minister also stressed that the number of redistributed migrants rescued at sea was also unsatisfactory. “Only a few countries have made commitments, and the procedures are not easy or fast,” she said.
“From 2018 to 2019, out of 855 migrants who disembarked in Italy to be distributed to various EU countries, there were offers of accommodation made for only 673 people, and of those only 241 were actually transferred,” Lamorgese said.
At a recent meeting of the interior ministers of Italy, Malta, France and Germany in the Maltese capital Valletta, Lamorgese said that “Italy and Malta must be supported by the European Union.”
“The final agreement that we will bring to the meeting in Luxembourg next week is a first step forward towards a more equitable and balanced management of the migratory phenomenon,” she said.
“The joint final declaration of the summit is open, and we hope to have participation by other member states,” she added, referring to the low participation rate of other EU states with plans to redistribute sea migrants arriving in Italy and Malta.