The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited the island of Lampedusa, in Italy, together with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, to address the migration crisis in the region. During her visit, Von der Leyen presented a ten-point emergency plan aimed at helping Italy cope with the record arrival of migrants on its territory and urging other European Union (EU) countries to show solidarity.
The plan aims to address the current situation, better distribute asylum seekers among EU members, and prevent future migration crises. It proposes a combination of measures, including a tough stance against people smugglers and a simplification of legal pathways for those who meet the requirements to apply for asylum to reach Europe.
Von der Leyen emphasized the need for a European response to irregular migration and urged other EU Member States to use the voluntary solidarity mechanism. However, she did not mention Germany, which recently decided not to receive any more migrants from Italy.
For her part, Prime Minister Meloni stressed the importance of Europe being able to face the great challenges to guarantee its future.
The island of Lampedusa, located near the Tunisian coast, has been a common arrival point for migrants from North Africa. In recent days, it has seen a significant increase in arrivals, with around 8,500 people arriving on 199 boats in just three days. The capacity of the reception center on the island has been overwhelmed, leading to the current crisis.
The EU aid plan includes increased support for the European Union Asylum Agency and the EU border control agency Frontex to register new arrivals and facilitate their transfer to other EU member countries. The migration crisis remains a complex challenge that requires a coordinated response at the European level.