European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Italian Minister for the Interior Marco Minniti met today to discuss shared migration and security challenges and issued the following joint statement:
"The EU and Italy are facing common challenges on migration and security that require joint European solutions. During the discussions on migration, the commitment was reconfirmed to pursue efforts and find ways to put an end to the deaths in the Mediterranean while continue ensuring protection to those in need. Commissioner Avramopoulos and Minister Minniti exchanged views on the next steps to deepen cooperation with key third-countries, especially in Africa and notably on readmissions and returns, in the context of the Partnership Framework and following the visit of Minister Minniti to Libya and Tunisia. Commissioner Avramopoulos expressed his support to the renewed commitment of Italy to improve and speed up returns of those who have no right to stay.
The Commissioner welcomed Italy's role in advancing cooperation with the key countries on the other side of the Mediterranean contributing to the objective aimed at dismantling the smuggling rings. The Commission is ready to further support Italy in this engagement politically, financially and operationally.It also counts on Italy to keep up its actions, including at the EU level, to give effect to the principle of fair sharing of solidarity and responsibility, including as regards commitments taken by Member States on relocation.
As far as security is concerned, discussions focused mainly on strengthening cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism as well as information exchange, radicalisation and cybersecurity. Italy is committed to working with European partners to achieve a genuine and effective Security Union, and the Commission together with Europol will continue supporting Italy and all Member States in fully implementing all relevant legal and operational instruments in the fight against terrorism."