Europe’s Migration Problems Are Back

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Publication Date November 2022
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A serious row with France broke out in early November 2022 after Italy refused to disembark rescued migrants from the ship Ocean Viking, operated by a French NGO under a Norwegian flag. After almost three weeks at sea, and repeated calls for permission to disembark in Italy, Spain and France, the vessel eventually made its way to the French port of Toulon, as conditions on board deteriorated. French officials were furious with their Italian counterparts, with interior minister Gérald Darmanin warning of “extremely severe consequences for bilateral relations and European relations”. France said it would suspend its planned relocation of 3,500 migrants who had arrived in Italy, and threatened further retaliation. Italian officials played down the dispute, but there was little sign that Rome planned to change its approach. This migration spat between France and Italy was a reminder that EU migration politics continued to be toxic, and that Europe’s common migration and asylum system remained incomplete.

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ESO Records
EPRS Briefings: October 2022: Search and rescue efforts for Mediterranean migrants
RSCAS Policy Briefs: Vol.2022/39: Doing the maths to end the refugee crisis : modelling responsibility-sharing in refugee response

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