Italy Tells EU: Send Money to Africa to Stop Mass Migration

African migrants who were rescued by the Tunisian army as they attempted to cross the Medi
FATHI NASRI/AFP via Getty Images

Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese has called on the European Union to develop an economic aid plan to funnel cash to Africa in the hopes of mitigating illegal migration.

Speaking at the Ambrosetti Forum in the commune of Cernobbio on Lake Como, Lamorgese suggested that EU cash could help solve problems of instability in certain North African countries and help to stem the flow of illegal migrants.

Speaking on Libya, she said that “serious instability has not been extinguished. There is a real risk of a collapse, and for this reason, the European Union must get involved. We need a great economic plan that focuses on the countries of North Africa,” Il Giornale reports.

Similar proposals have been made in recent years, including by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who argued in 2018 for a Marshall Plan-style agreement between EU member states and African countries.

German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller has also advocated for such a policy, stating in 2017 that the EU should give aid to prevent illegal migration and withhold the development fund from those who refused to take back their nationals.

The European Union, meanwhile, has been giving Turkey large amounts of money for years to stop the flow of illegals and only months ago promised the government of Presiden Recep Tayyip Erdogan billions of more euros over the next several years.

Following the collapse of Afghanistan to Taliban forces and fears of a new migrant crisis, ministers from across the EU have also presented a plan to pay cash to countries neighbouring Afghanistan to stop migrants heading onward to Europe.

The ministers said they would “stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence of uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past, by preparing a coordinated and orderly response. Incentives to illegal migration should be avoided.”

It is unclear how much cash the EU will spend, but some reports have suggested a figure of up to €1 billion (£859 million/$1.18 billion).

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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