Italy has prepared a draft proposal to resettle about 1,000 migrants who are currently stranded in Libya around the world. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano presented a pilot scheme with “1,000 migrants” and “several countries around the world welcoming these people” before flying to Tripoli for an official visit. Mr. Alfano called the plan “revolutionary” as it would have to provide details about these individuals for those host countries, which are not able to have interviews themselves if they had closed their embassies in the conflict-torn North African country.
Rome is actively looking into ways to discourage migrants from crossing the Mediterranean including incentivizing for a voluntary return home. Since 2014, Italy has seen the arrival of more than 600,000 people on its shores. The EU’s relocation plan that was proposed at the peak of migration crises has wrapped up only recently after it had been legally challenged, mostly by Central European countries. The scheme has, however, so far seen less than a fifth of the planned 160,000 Syrians and other asylum-seekers relocated around the EU.
The new trend is to shift from mandatory relocation to voluntary settlement, which means taking candidates from outside the bloc on an optional basis. The scheme is the first step after which follows a proposal to admit at least 50,000 of the “most vulnerable” individuals in need of protection to Europe over the next two years. The Commission seeks to encourage member states to set up “private sponsorship schemes” and launch projects for legal migrations with third countries.