Thursday

27th Apr 2017

Italy threatens EU budget veto over migration

  • Italy helped rescue over 2,000 people on Monday (Photo: Frontex)

Italy is threatening to veto the EU budget if it doesn't get more help with migration.

Prime minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday (25 October) said he would block the budget unless countries like Hungary and Slovakia take in more asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“Italy cannot take another year like the one we’ve just had,” he said in an interview with RAI state television.

Over 153,000 people disembarked from north Africa in 2015 to Italy in an effort to seek asylum or find a better future in Europe. Around the same number have reached the country so far this year, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). Some 3,195 died in the attempt.

The Italian coast guard is also coordinating large scale rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

They plucked 5,900 from the sea over the weekend alone with the help from vessels deployed by EU's border guard Frontex and NGOs. Another 2,200 were saved on Monday in 21 rescue missions.

Meanwhile, just under 1,400 people have been relocated from Italy under an EU-wide two year scheme to distribute asylum seekers to other EU states that was launched in September last year.

None have been sent to Hungary, Poland or Slovakia.

Renzi then pointed out that Italy's contribution to the EU budget is about €20 billion.

"If Hungary or Slovakia preach to us about migrants and don't give us a hand, and then want our money, in 2017, when the discussion on the budget starts, let Italy be alongside the government in saying there's no way, absolutely," he was quoted as saying in Italian news agency Ansa.

Renzi had also demanded that the number of people arriving from North Africa slows by early next year.

Italy is one of the main drivers behind EU-led efforts to sort deals with a handful of African states to curb migration flows by the end of the year.

Leaders at a summit in Brussels last week promised to intensify cooperation with governments in Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali and step up returns and readmission of people not entitled to international protection.

Formal talks with Nigeria have since kicked off to send economic migrants packing from the EU as part of a bigger €60 billion investment package.

Nigerians surpass all other nationalities that arrived by sea to Italy this year, followed by Eritreans and then people from Sudan.

Renzi has in the past voiced frustration over the lack of support from other EU states ahead of a key referendum on Italy's constitutional reform in December.

EU buries migration dispute for now

This week's EU summit will take no new decision on how to manage the migration crisis. But differences of approach remain between member states.

Poland defies EU on rule of law

Prime minister Szydlo said the European Commission concerns over rule of law in Poland were political grudges.

Fewer refugees to be relocated as EU revises targets

An initial plan to relocate 160,000, which was later amended to 98,000, now appears to drop even further after the European Commission said the new objective was to dispatch only eligible asylum seekers from Italy and Greece.

EU stands aside as Hungary detains migrants

Commission is withholding action on Hungary's detention of asylum seekers, even as the Hungarian government tries to "stop Brussels" on immigration policy.

Austria wants out of EU migrant relocations

Austria is required to start relocating asylum seekers from Italy and Greece after an exemption to the scheme ended on 11 March. But Austria's chancellor has other ideas and wants the exemption prolonged.

News in Brief

  1. EU parliament moves to lift Le Pen's immunity
  2. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's university law
  3. Scots slowly losing appetite for independence - poll
  4. Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list
  5. EU to put parental leave on political agenda
  6. Israel cancels German meeting over human rights groups
  7. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  8. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. EU starts legal action against Hungary
  2. Brexit is about Europe's future as well
  3. Power struggle in Greenland: Three reasons why the EU should care
  4. Nordic and Baltic countries step up digitalisation efforts
  5. European states still top media freedom list
  6. Let’s not put European public health at risk
  7. Threatened Budapest university calls for EU support
  8. Orban set to face down EU threats