After the decision of the European Council it seems there will be no mandatory quotas for relocating migrants. How do you see this development form the EU perspective and is it also a defeat for PM Matteo Renzi? Read few comments.
Lorenzo Nannetti, International Affairs Analyst
From an EU perspective this is a further sign that opposing views between members continue to dominate decisions. The statement is an equilibrium of diplomatic jargon that however effectively just ratifies the status quo: noone is forced to accept them. Public opinions in Southern European countries will increasingly see EU as a negative/useless entity on these matters. Some countries may push to boycott other countries’ interests regarding other EU matters because they feel unheard, I know some opposition parties in Italy are asking for this.
And yes, it’s a defeat for PM Renzi. In Italy, today’s reactions were a bit positive on the fact that he was starting to raise voice and slam fists on the table, but also very critical that it was a bit later and that anyway he’s still unable to obtain anything. There’s also a huge confrontation between regional governors and Italian government regarding distribution quota inside Italy and this defeat is not making things any easier. It looks like some decisions on policy are coming in Italy as a result of these, but I want to see them before I can comment.
Matilde Ventrella, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Wolverhampton
EU perspective: the decision shows a failure in the European integration. The EU, according to Article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), ‘shall be governed by the principle of solidarity’ and unfortunately, this is not what’s happening at EU level. EU Member States are more concerned with the closure of their borders rather than adopting an inclusive policy based on EU asylum law, that could resolve the problem. Closing borders won’t never be a solution to the influx of many migrants and refugees who leave their countries of origin and subsequently are smuggled by criminal organisations. The EU should take responsibility on migrants and lead long term policies on migration which should include international cooperation with countries of origin to create the economic conditions, peace and stability that could prevent many people from leaving their countries of origin.
Mr Renzi requests’ have been mostly not accommodated because he has failed to demonstrate that Italy cannot host the majority of migrants and refugees. Italy is a transit country because its position is in between the EU and Africa. Therefore, this government and previous governments should have expected the high influx of migrants and should have been more organised. In 1991, Italy was absolutely unprepared to admit 20000 migrants from Albania and the government decided to keep them temporarily in a football stadium under the heat of the Italian summer in Bari. Many people suffered from dehydration bcause of that unwise decision. What has changed since 1991? Apparently nothing as the Italian government claims not to know where to host the migrants coming from Africa. However, since 1991, the EU has adopted different laws on asylum. Certainly, these laws have their faults but they could have supported an improvement in the Italian asylum system and its reception conditions. Italy, after the negative experience of 1991, should have developed resettlement conditions which could have avoided the chaotic situation they are experiencing now. Only by showing to the EU that the reception conditions are advanced, Italy could be credible. At the moment it is not credible and this is the reason why the other EU countries are boycotting Renzi’s proposals.