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Matteo Renzi: European migration bonds will help us solve the refugee crisis

18 April Apr 2016 1115 18 April 2016
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With the migration crisis ongoing, Italian Prime Minister Renzi has proposed an ambitious new finance solution involving enhanced cooperation with African states, and the use of euro bonds that would see EU countries issuing joint debt to stem the flow of migrants and strengthen African border controls.

In his four-page discussion paper , entitled “Migration Compact”, sent to European Commissioner Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister Renzi proposes “common EU migration bonds to be issued to fund migration management in member states and finance the migration compact goals.”

The notion of common debt has been proposed before by the southern Eurozone countries, but has previously been rejected by Germany, with finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble arguing that the EU needs to find alternative solutions.

European Council President Donald Tusk welcomed Renzi’s non paper, which will be distributed this Monday and Tuesday at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. In his tweet, Tusk stated that: “Agree to work on ambitious plan in EU & G7/20 on cooperating w/3rd countries to stem migration.”

Some of the economic proposals from Italy, based on previous lessons learned from events such as the La Valletta EU-Africa summit on migrations, include funding an emergency repatriation scheme (with legal, logistical, financial, and infrastructural support), as well as the reorientation of existing financial tools. The stabilisation of Libya was also highlighted as being a “strategic priority”, with Renzi suggesting that the EU should ensure “the best possible use of ‘Eurnavfor Med’”.

Italy, like Greece, is one of the European states hardest hit by the migration crisis, with almost 10,000 migrants rescued at sea in the past month. Renzi’s document underlines that the refusal by some Member States to engage in burden-sharing of the migration crisis are putting the EU at risk.