Italy’s umpteenth fuss prevents an agreement on the management of the refugee crisis in the EU

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Italy is the one that started it, the one that is on the ropes, the one that has made the matter a political priority, the one that has turned the issue into an open battle with Germany, the one that has the most demands and the one that, in the end, has decided to stop, once again, the negotiation. The immigrant arrivals and asylum seekers to the country’s coasts have skyrocketed in recent months, arrivals, shipwrecks and deaths are multiplying, political pressure is multiplying, and the Government of Giorgia Meloni He preferred to get up from the table this Thursday, and leave hanging temporarily to its partners, than to accept an agreement on the rules of migration crisis managementbecause he knows that it would have been presented as a transfer, a defeat.

After noon, the minister Matteo Piantedosiwho did not even intervene in the session, got up from the table in Brussels and took the plane back in advance, while the rest of the EU Interior Ministers continued with the agenda. Rome was not going to get what it wanted, it had become clear, and rather than accept a series of relatively minor changes in the regulations that are being fought these days, it opted for the most abrupt exit. It is not a definitive break, because it does not have veto power, but rather the umpteenth political gesture, a staging more internal than external. Meloni has to show that he is being relentless, that he does not compromise, that his demands will be heard. And today it could not, since the last compromise text had come to fruition after Germany imposed a series of modifications.

The text of the regulation is practically closed, there is a “large, very large majority” to move it forward, according to the Spaniard Fernando Grande Marlaska, who chaired the meeting. And given that “there are no major political obstacles, it will be approved in the coming days” by the ambassadors of the 27, as promised by the Spaniard and the Interior Commissioner. Ylva Johansson, at the end of the Council.

All sources consulted agree. Italy needed punch to be able to assure at home that it had been planted. The EU is negotiating the Migration and Asylum Pact, which is legally articulated on five different regulations. The first two, about Eurodac (fingerprint comparison system used to help determine the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application) and common procedures and guarantees were approved some time ago and are in fact almost completed in the negotiation with the European Parliament. The next two, about Asylum and Migration Management and a common procedure regarding international protectionwere agreed by a qualified majority in June, with the vote against and the furious opposition of Poland and Hungary, since it speaks of mandatory reception or financial compensation of up to 20,000 euros per rejected person, which they do not accept.

The fifth remained, that of crisis management. In July it was Germany the one that stopped him, considering that he did not adequately respect human rights. The Greens, part of Chancellor Scholz’s coalition, have been very insistent. And this summer the position on arrivals and treatment of refugees and NGOs has caused a tough, ugly and recurring fight between Berlin and Rome. On Wednesday, after many discussions, the Spanish presidency presented a compromise text that satisfied the German demands, but which has been unpalatable for the Meloni Government.

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