Task force proposals ready, 14 mln needed for Frontex operation
Brussels has allocated 30 million euros in funds for Italy's immigration emergency, EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday. The funds are aimed at programmes to welcome and assist migrants who land on Italy's coasts, including border patrols under Frontex mandate, the commissioner said, confirming the announcement made by President Jose Manuel Barroso after hundreds of migrants died off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October. Another 20 million have been allocated for emergencies in other member states.
The Task force set up after the immigrant shipwrecks off Lampedusa has drafted its proposals for a response of the European Union 'that can make a difference', announced Malstrom, who called on member states to use this unique opportunity to show that the EU is based on solidarity and support. The time has come to act, she said.
The Task force for the Mediterranean selected 38 plans of action in five areas to confront migrant landings, a major Frontex operation to be implemented, from Cyprus to Spain, to patrol coasts and sea rescue operations for which 14 million euros will be necessary every year, the commissioner said. Now members states will have their say on funding.
Italy can be happy about these proposals and about the fact that all of Europe is working for a solution, Malmstrom said.
The measures did not only come from the commission but member states discussed a lot during the past two months of work, she noted.
The EU home affairs council on Thursday will discuss the work done by the Task force for the Mediterranean which will then be on the agenda of the European summit on December 19-20.