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Italy ill-prepared to handle migration surge, committee says

Strasbourg, 02.10.2013 – Italy has shown once again that it is ill-prepared for a new surge of mixed migration on its coasts, with little evidence of a system for receiving and processing migrants and asylum seekers that is “fit for purpose”, according to a draft report just out from PACE’s Migration Committee.

Italian policy is facilitating “asylum forum shopping”, the committee said in a draft resolution approved today, calling on Italy to do all it can to ensure people illegally entering the country do not continue their journeys into other Council of Europe member states.

Italy needs to develop a coherent policy to detect, identify, inform and register irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees arriving on its shores, and return those not needing international protection, the parliamentarians said.

Other Council of Europe member states, and the EU, should show greater solidarity with Italy and other European countries on the front line of southern Mediterranean arrivals.

Meanwhile, “confusion and chaos” still surrounds incidents in which irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are rescued from vessels in the Mediterranean, highlighting an “urgent need for clarification of responsibilities”.