- Record Influx of Migrants Lands on Italy’s Lampedusa
- European Union Proposes a Ten-Point Plan to Address the Crisis
- Overcrowded Lampedusa Migrant Center Struggles to Cope
A record number of migrants disembarked on Italy’s Lampedusa island in the past week, prompting the European Union to present a contingency plan to assist the country in dealing with the influx.
The influx of asylum seekers on the Italian island of Lampedusa has reignited a heated debate in Europe regarding how to share responsibility for the tens of thousands of migrants who reach the Continent annually.
“Illegal migration is a European challenge that requires a European response,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Lampedusa, proposing a ten-point plan to assist Rome in addressing the crisis.
According to the UN migration agency, more than the entire local population of the island has arrived on approximately 200 vessels since Monday.
Lampedusa, the southernmost territory of Italy, has long been a landing point for North African migrants. But this week officials said its migration center, constructed to house fewer than 400 people, was overwhelmed.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stated at a press conference with von der Leyen on Lampedusa, “We are doing everything possible.”
Meloni stated, “The future that Europe wants for itself is at stake here, as Europe’s future depends on its ability to face major challenges.”
The Italian Red Cross, which operates the congested Lampedusa migrant center, reported on Sunday that 1,500 migrants remained there despite the facility’s capacity being 400.
The Red Cross expects more migrants to arrive on Sunday, but transfers to Sicily and the mainland have not kept pace.