Migration is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues of our time. Thousands of people escape from their own countries to find a new life in others. Unfortunately, the destination countries are not always what the migrants expect, as most of these nations are already struggling with their own problems: economic crisis, unemployment and fragile productive systems.
In his recent article for Affari Internazionali, Francesco Fresi, the Honorary Director of the European Commission, has provided a very realistic picture of what Italy thinks about migration. Given its position, Italy is greatly impacted by migration flows. Several measures have been implemented (both at the national and international level) to regulate migration over the years, but the achievements seem quite irrelevant. Among these measures, Mr. Fresi mentions the agreement with Turkey as a “bad example”. In fact, the European Union (EU) gave a remarkable economic aid to Turkey in exchange for migration control within its borders to contain the number of migrants coming from that area. Even if the agreement was signed before the authoritarian trend Turkey is heading at the moment, the EU is now playing the role of economic supporter of a very unstable and undemocratic country.
Mr Fresi stressed the EU’s lack of an apt leadership able to suggest an effective migration policy and of adequate economic resources. Mr Fresi also pointed out the need for the EU to intervene in the countries of origin, avoiding the arrival of migrants on EU shores to be sent back. The expert highlighted the pivotal role of human smugglers, who push force the migrants to continue their journey in terrible conditions and argues that Middle East is not the only source of the current massive wave of migration. Mr Fresi also shed light on Africa, describing an alarming situation where wars, political instability and persecutions drive people to escape.
Finally, Mr Fresi suggests a sort of “Marshall Plan for Africa” aimed at aiding the countries of origin to set up new development strategies to keep potential migrants home, offering them a new life and more opportunities.