Assistance in transporting immigrants and to other European countries, an increase in repatriations: Ursula von der Leyen bunveiled a 10-point plan on the small Italian island of Lampedusa today to help Rome deal with massive migrant arrivals.

Here is the plan, as developed in a communication made public by the European Commission:

  1. Strengthening the support offered to Italy by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to manage the increased number of migrants and ensure registration of arrivals, digital fingerprinting, interviews and the orientation of immigrants to the competent authorities.
  2. Support the transfer of people from Lampedusa, including to other Member States, using the voluntary solidarity mechanism and paying particular attention to unaccompanied minors and women.
  3. Increase the number of repatriations with new and coordinated action in the main countries of origin of new arrivals, namely Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Burkina Faso, to improve cooperation and facilitate returns; also increase support to Frontex; mainly in terms of education, but also strengthening its capabilities, in order to ensure the rapid implementation of repatriations.
  4. Support the prevention of departures by establishing operational partnerships against (illegal immigration) networks with countries of origin and transit. This includes the possibility of a working agreement between Tunisia and Frontex, as well as a coordination force within Europol to focus on the fight against networks along the migration route to Tunisia and towards Lampedusa.
  5. Strengthening border surveillance at sea and air surveillance, mainly through Frontex, and exploring possibilities to expand naval missions in the Mediterranean. In addition, we will speed up the supply of equipment and strengthen the training of the Tunisian coast guard and other authorities.
  6. Take measures to limit the use of unseaworthy vessels and act against traffickers’ supply and logistics chains; measures should also be taken to decommission vessels and inflatables that are seized.
  7. Increasing the support offered by the EUAA for the implementation of rapid border procedures and for speeding up procedures, including the use of the safe country of origin concept, the rejection of manifestly unfounded requests, the announcement of entry bans and their registration in the Schengen Information System ( SIS).
  8. Intensification of awareness and pollination campaigns to discourage those who want to cross the Mediterranean, while at the same time the proposals of alternative options such as humanitarian entry and legal routes (entry into the European area) will continue.
  9. Intensify cooperation with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration to adopt a comprehensive route-based approach to ensure protection along the route and increase voluntary repatriations from transit countries.
  10. To implement the protocol of agreements between the European Union and Tunisia (s.s.: aims to reduce the arrivals of immigrants in this country, from which the vast majority of those arriving in Lampedusa sail, and foresees aid of hundreds of millions of euros for it the North African country). Also to give priority to actions that have a direct impact on improving the current situation and to accelerate the conclusion of contracts for new programs in this context.