'We need to overcome national vetoes for solutions on migration,' former Italian FM says

Talking Europe speaks to a veteran of the European and Italian political scenes, former EU Commissioner and former Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino. She shares her thoughts on the bitter dispute between Rome and Paris over the fate of the migrants on the Ocean Viking rescue ship, and says an EU migration policy won't happen without EU treaty change. "If we don't overcome national vetoes, be it on Covid, be it on energy, be it on migrants, we won't have European solutions. We will just keep dreaming of European solutions," she tells Armen Georgian. Bonino also touches on women's rights and what she has called the "reactionary social agenda" of the new coalition governing Italy.

Asked about the current crisis between Rome and Paris over migrants, Bonino refuses to single out France. "On this issue, no EU member state can pretend to have acted in a humane way. It’s not just France and Italy. Look around and take Poland, for instance. Take Orban, for instance. Even Austria, that threatened to close the Brenner pass. This is a dossier where nobody is perfect," she argues.

So is it unrealistic to imagine a real EU-wide solution to the migration issue? Bonino says: "What is needed, not only on migrants, but on many other dossiers, is to change the Lisbon treaty. If we don't overcome the veto prerogatives of member states, be it on Covid, be it on energy, be it on migrants, we won't have European solutions. We will just keep dreaming of European solutions."

Produced by Johan Bodin, Perrine Desplats, Sophie Samaille et Isabelle Romero


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