The Secretary of State did not provide figures and reiterated: “Of course, we have already expressed our availability to host some people,” he added.
Portugal has already shown itself available to welcome “some immigrants” arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa, within the framework of the European Union solidarity mechanism, according to the Government, pointing out the situation of “great pressure” in Italy.
Portugal, in the past, assumed a commitment within the framework of the voluntary solidarity mechanism [europeu]. We have always expressed our solidarity and availability to welcome immigrants when these situations occur,” said the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes.
In statements to the Portuguese press in Brussels, at the end of a General Affairs Council, which took place days after the European announcement of a new plan to confront the migratory emergency in the European Union (EU), the government official added: “Before the great pressure that occurs or when there is a shipwreck, Our attitude is always one of solidarity and willingness to welcome.within the framework of this voluntary solidarity mechanism.”
The Secretary of State did not provide figures and reiterated: “Naturally, we have already expressed our availability to host some people.“he added.
For Tiago Antunes, “there are very big challenges” in the immigration issue, and “we must put an end to the business of human traffickers” and “create regular and secure migration channels“.
Last Sunday, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented in Lampedusa an action plan to fight against irregular immigration and stated that “Italy can count on the European Union“, after the arrival there of more than 10,000 immigrants – more than the population of the Italian island closest to Africa – in just three days.
Immigrants arriving in Lampedusa in three days exceed the population of the Italian island
The 10-point action plan includes expanding EU naval missions in the Mediterranean or creating new, faster repatriations of people whose asylum applications are rejected and humanitarian corridors for legal arrivals.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took office almost a year ago and has since advocated abandoning disputes over the distribution of migrants between European countries and focus efforts on stopping departures through agreements with African countries.
Therefore, one of the most anticipated commitments from the Italian Government was the last of those pronounced by Ursula von der Leyen, who asked to accelerate the implementation of the migration agreement that Brussels signed with Tunisia last July and which includes Financial aid in exchange for immigration containment measures..
Even so, Ursula von der Leyen also asked EU countries to accepting voluntary transfers, a frequent source of contention.
The EU will immediately send experts to help manage and register the high number of migrants arriving in Italy.
Since the beginning of the year, it is estimated that more than 127,000 migrants have landed in Italy, almost double the number in the same period in 2022.