EUCO president to raise migrant crisis issue at upcoming EU summit
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travels to Italy's Lampedusa amid challenges posed by the influx of migrants.
European Council President Charles Michel announced on Sunday that he plans to address the migrant crisis during an informal summit of European Union leaders scheduled for October 6 in the Spanish city of Granada. This initiative comes in response to the ongoing situation on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Michel emphasized on X the need for a collective European response to the migration crisis, ensuring that no EU member state is left to face it alone. He stated, "Migration is a European challenge that requires a European response. We will provide an update on the migration situation during the informal summit in Granada."
On the same day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Lampedusa in collaboration with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. During their visit, they inspected the migrant reception center and the port on the island.
Von der Leyen underscored that irregular migration is a challenge for all of Europe and called for a unified European solution. She stated, "We will collectively determine who enters the European Union and under what conditions, not the smugglers and traffickers."
What is the 10-point plan to assist Italy?
In response to the crisis, the European Commission president unveiled a 10-point action plan to assist Italy, which includes helping relocate undocumented migrants from Italy's territory.
Von der Leyen also expressed support for reinforcing sea and aerial surveillance, potentially through the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). Additionally, she suggested exploring options to expand existing naval missions in the Mediterranean or establish new ones, along with expediting the provision of equipment to the Tunisian Coast Guard.
A short recap
The situation on Lampedusa escalated on September 13 when over 8,000 undocumented migrants arrived on the island within three days, surpassing its permanent population. Lampedusa Mayor Filippo Mannino described the island's situation as approaching a critical point.
Italy is seeking solidarity from the European Union in addressing the migration issue and has attributed the influx of undocumented immigrants to the activities of various NGOs involved in rescuing refugees in the sea passages closest to Italy. Prime Minister Meloni asserted that Italy has been left to grapple with the migration crisis on its own.