Effectively managing the pressure of migratory flows on the shared external Schengen border requires both responsibility and solidarity by all Member States. When it comes to common external borders which are under particular pressure it is of crucial importance that two key measures are fully implemented: the ‘hotspot’ approach and the relocation scheme – with the fingerprinting of all migrants, the prompt selection and relocation of asylum applicants and establishment of adequate reception capacities. The other essential component is action to secure swift return, voluntary or forced, of people not in need of international protection and who do not therefore qualify for relocation.
With the support of the European Commission, the delivery of fully operational hotspots in all identified locations is improving steadily, but Italy must take the necessary actions as soon as possible to complete what remains to be done. The Commission will continue to support the efforts of the Italian authorities and measure the progress made and continue to call for the intensification of efforts in this regard.
Almost 170,000 people have arrived in Italy by sea since the beginning of 2015. The scale of arrivals is considerable and the Commission is working very closely with the Italian authorities to assist them in this challenge.
A dedicated team of Commission officials has been working on the ground for months, hand in hand with the Italian authorities.