Lampedusa tragedy - European policy necessary according to Didier Reynders

date: 05 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is deeply distressed by the fatal tragedy that took place off the Italian island of Lampedusa on 3 October. His thoughts are with the many victims and their families, to whom the Minister expresses his sympathy. He also expresses his solidarity and sympathy with the Italian people and the local and national authorities that are dealing with this tragedy.

The Lampedusa tragedy has a European dimension. It demonstrates that a global and balanced European immigration policy is necessary. Controlling the EU’s exterior borders is but one element of such a policy.

The European Union must seek to avoid another tragedy like this one, above all by ramping up the fight against criminal networks that exploit the situation in which immigrants find themselves. Also, the EU must develop programmes to improve living conditions in the regions from where people attempt to come to Europe. It must also dialogue and cooperate with the countries from where people wish to emigrate and with the transit countries that those people use.