“The Council Presidency and the Commission informed the European Council about progress in the implementation of its conclusions of 9 February 2023 on migration. Recalling that migration is a European challenge that requires a European response, the European Council calls for swift implementation of all items agreed upon. It will review implementation in June”. These are the only four and a half lines about migration that are contained in the nine pages of the final document of the first day of the European Council, which is holding its second day in Brussels today. After all, though it is on the agenda, such item is not the main one on the table of the 27 member states at this spring summit. Once again, war in Ukraine holds court along with financial issues.
At the press conference, held yesterday late in the evening, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, mentioned an “interesting debate on migration” during which “support and approval were shown for the way work has been expedited, and we agreed that we will talk about it again at June’s Council, not to reopen the discussion but to have a new update”. The new Pact on Migration is under way and is expected to be approved before the European Parliament election in the middle of 2024. But while the Italian Prime Minister states that there is a risk of yet another “wave” of migrants through the Mediterranean (she estimates that as many as 900 thousand migrants will arrive), the other countries do not seem to be willing to deal with such matter, at least not in the sense of a redistribution of migrants. What is lacking in this sense are the political agreements that Rome should be trying to reach with Berlin and Paris, wary of nationalist governments or governments that are already struggling with the Ukrainian refugees.