Europe is not there and NATO is ready to take its place. It has already happened in Ukraine. It is happening again on the front of the Mediterranean and of migrants. While the European Council is slamming its doors in Giorgia Meloni’s face, who asked to dedicate a part of today’s and tomorrow’s meeting to the issue of landings, NATO Secretary General Jean Stoltenberg does not hide the propensity of the Atlantic Alliance to replace the evanescent European Union also in the Mediterranean. Also because the Atlantic Alliance, unlike Brussels, fears the sudden implosion of a Tunisia which has become, due to its political instability, the new point of arrival for migratory flows departing from the Sahel. “We support the European Union in its action against illegal immigration – Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday – and we work with partners such as Mauritania and Tunisia to strengthen their capacity and therefore their stability”. So while Europe is dozing, NATO looks worried at a possible collapse of the Tunisian state capable of jeopardizing the security of the Old Continent. But NATO is ready to intervene in the Mediterranean also to face the activity of Wagner, the Russian private military company present in Cyrenaica, Sudan, Mali and Central Africa. That presence greatly worries an America that is increasingly absent from the Dark Continent. A continent where Russian activities are added to those of a China that has transformed itself into a political and economic reference power for about twenty African nations. In all of this, the most paradoxical aspect remains the political apathy of an EU unable to address crucial issues such as the control of migratory flows and African imbalances. An even more sensational apathy if one looks at the proposals of Giorgia Meloni who, since the formation of her government, has evoked the possibility of resurrecting and relaunching the Sophia naval mission to tackle – in agreement with Europe – the fight against traffickers of men. The proposal, never taken into consideration by Brussels, seems in line with the plans for a NATO ready, Stoltenberg suggests, to review the priorities of the naval missions active in the Mediterranean, to tackle human trafficking and monitor the African coasts. Evaluating this hypothesis, the NATO secretary mentioned two missions that are already operational. The first is that of the Second NATO Maritime Group (SNMG2) engaged in the control and surveillance of illegal trafficking in the waters of Greece and Turkey. The operations, which began in February 2016, provide for the coordination of the naval forces of Athens and Ankara and with Frontex, the European agency for the control of external borders. “For many years – Stoltenberg recalled – we have had a naval presence in the Aegean Sea to facilitate the application of the agreement between Turkey and the European Union on illegal immigration”. But the mission to which NATO looks to compensate for the European absence in the Mediterranean is called Sea Guardian. Developed during the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016 and launched at the end of that year, Sea Guardian has the entire Mediterranean as its operational theater with purposes ranging from the fight against terrorism to the fight against illegal trafficking. It is no coincidence that his activities include both coordination with our Coast Guard and with Irini, the European mission that succeeded Sophia. But in the current operational context, the main objective of Sea Guardian would obviously become the contrast of Moscow’s activities. «We are witnessing an increase in the Russian presence in South and Africa, not least with the Wagner group – Stoltenberg said yesterday, recalling that NATO cannot have the luxury of focusing on one challenge or another, but must act on all problems at the same time. As if to say «if Europe doesn’t take care of it, we will take care of it».