Following the influx of thousands of migrants on the small Italian island of Lampedusa last week, Gérald Darmanin announced this Monday that he would travel to Rome “in the afternoon”, “at the request of the President of the Republic”, to discuss European cooperation. According to his entourage, the interior minister is due to meet with his Italian counterpart Matteo Piantedosi.
“France will help Italy hold the border to prevent people from arriving,” explained Gérald Darmanin on Europe 1 and CNews. However, “France is not preparing” to accept migrants arriving in Lampedusa and the rest of Italy, he assured. “We must apply the European rules that we adopted a few months ago, which provide for asylum requests at the border,” continued tenant Bovo.
Migrants who do not have the right to seek asylum “must be sent back to their country,” insisted Gérald Darmanin. According to him, this applies to “60%” of them, in particular those from “Guinea, Ivory Coast, Cameroon or Gambia”, where “there is no humanitarian issue.” These people have “nothing to do in Europe,” said tenant Bovo.
On the other hand, for people “politically persecuted” in their own country, “they are refugees” and therefore have the right to seek asylum, “France, as it has always done, will be able [les] to greet”.
“Protection of the external borders of the European Union”
“It would be a mistake to think that migrants, as they arrive in Europe, should be immediately distributed to all European countries, including France, which is already largely taking its share,” he said, before emphasizing: “We must protect external borders of the European Union. “This involves, in particular, the deployment of Frontex in the Mediterranean, developing “more effective measures to prevent people from crossing the border,” but we must also “work with Tunisia,” which is experiencing “migration difficulties,” explained Gérald Darmanin.
As for the migration pact proposed by Emmanuel Macron to the European Union, which consists of asking for asylum at the borders, “everyone accepted it”, but it has not yet been implemented. “Those who are blocking this in the European Parliament are the National Rally,” the interior minister condemned. He accused elected representatives of the PH of “election tourism” by going to Italy “to say that Europe is not doing anything.”
Gérald Darmanin will not go to Lampedusa, like European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who presented an emergency action plan there on Sunday, those close to the minister said.