Renzi Calls EU to Take Responsibility for Boat Migrants

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Matteo Renzi

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday Europe must take responsibility for rescuing boat migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa by making a "significant investment" in the region's border control agency, Frontex.

"A Europe that tells the Calabrian fisherman that he must use a certain technique to catch tuna but then turns its back when there are dead bodies in the sea cannot call itself civilized," Renzi said in parliament.

Italy's navy and coast guard have been patrolling the waters between Africa and the Italian island of Sicily since October, when 366 people drowned after their boat capsized just a mile from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

That tragedy focused world attention on the desperate risks taken by many migrants, whose plight has been highlighted by human rights groups and Pope Francis.

Italy's Mare Nostrum, or "Our Sea", navy mission costs about 9 million euros ($12.23 million) per month, and more than 50,000 migrants have been rescued so far this year. Many are refugees fleeing civil war in Syria or forced military service in Eritrea.

The 39-year-old Renzi, who will attend a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday and takes over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU next week, is trying to get member states to recognise that Mare Nostrum is in fact a European border issue, and not only an Italian one.

"If, when facing the tragedies of immigration, we are told, 'This is not our problem,' then I say keep your single currency and leave us our values," the prime minister said.

Though about two-thirds of those who are rescued move on quickly to other EU countries, member states have offered Italy little help with Mare Nostrum, and Frontex has provided only limited air surveillance.

Italy - along with Spain, Greece and Malta - have been left mostly on their own to manage the growing number of migrants who seek to enter the EU in boats departing from North Africa, partly because increasing anti-immigrant sentiment in countries like Britain and France makes it unpopular to help out.

"Without stronger collective EU action, this summer could become the Mediterranean's drowning season," Benjamin Ward, deputy director at Human Rights Watch, said on Tuesday in a statement.

"EU leaders should give the financial and material backing to continue Italy's vital efforts to save lives at sea and ensure that those who are rescued land at a safe place and can have any asylum claims fairly heard," he said.

($1 = 0.7357 Euros)

(By Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Sea Breeze 2015 Kicks off in Odesa

Maritime forces from 11 nations kicked off the U.S.-Ukraine co-hosted multinational exercise Sea Breeze 2015 in Odesa, Ukraine and the Black Sea, Sept. 1. Sea Breeze,

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities,

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

News

USCG Rescues Unconscious Boater

The Coast Guard rescued an individual from a marsh flat in Barataria Waterway located approximately six miles north of Grand Isle, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector

SHIPPINGInsight to Focus on Ship Telematics

The subject of ship telematics will be prominently featured at the upcoming SHIPPINGInsight 2015 Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition, which takes place in Stamford, Conn.

Euronav Acquires $ 750 mi Facility

The Executive Committee of Euronav NV today announced that it has signed a new USD 750 million senior secured amortizing revolving credit facility led by DNB

Coast Guard

USCG Rescues Unconscious Boater

The Coast Guard rescued an individual from a marsh flat in Barataria Waterway located approximately six miles north of Grand Isle, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector

Runaway Crane Barge Sinks on the Mississippi

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with a team of responders to recover a runaway crane barge that sunk near Convent on the Mississippi River.   The crane barge

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

Maritime Safety

USCG Rescues Unconscious Boater

The Coast Guard rescued an individual from a marsh flat in Barataria Waterway located approximately six miles north of Grand Isle, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector

Worldwide Launch of Joint CIC

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control has launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign

Sea Breeze 2015 Kicks off in Odesa

Maritime forces from 11 nations kicked off the U.S.-Ukraine co-hosted multinational exercise Sea Breeze 2015 in Odesa, Ukraine and the Black Sea, Sept. 1. Sea Breeze,

People in the News

USCG Rescues Unconscious Boater

The Coast Guard rescued an individual from a marsh flat in Barataria Waterway located approximately six miles north of Grand Isle, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector

Drilling Down into Risk Management

Afloat or ashore, we cannot eliminate risk, but it can be sensibly managed to a tolerable level. It begins with a hypothetical, but worryingly authentic, tale

Joe Pyne Joins DHT Holdings’ Board of Directors

Crude oil shipper DHT Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Joseph H. Pyne to its board of directors, expanding the board from three to four independent directors.

Government Update

Worldwide Launch of Joint CIC

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control has launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

Oil Exports Could Push US Gasoline Prices Lower

The price of U.S. gasoline could fall if Washington were to allow crude oil exports, an independent government report on Tuesday concluded, adding political firepower

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.6568 sec (2 req/sec)