Lithuania ready to receive migrants from Italy
Lithuania is ready to take in migrants who have entered Italy illegally if the European Union’s solidarity mechanism is activated, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said on Thursday.
In June, the EU Council agreed on a new migration pact aimed at tackling irregular migration, notably by introducing a solidarity mechanism requiring countries to take in asylum seekers according to their size and economy. Member states will now have to fork out €20,000 for every asylum seeker they refuse to take in.
“We certainly have the capacity to receive the specified number of migrants, but […] the mechanism needs to be activated. At the moment there are no final agreements on this,” Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė told the press on Wednesday.
Asked which option Lithuania would choose, Šimonytė said that the conditions for accepting migrants were in place.
“I believe that the option that would allow us to receive people suits us perfectly because we have managed to receive several thousand people in 2021,” the prime minister said.
“Since we are ready and able to receive them, we can certainly accept that many people. And another 80,000 people from Ukraine,” she added.
Currently, most irregular migrants from Africa arrive in Greece and Italy, with a recent surge in arrivals on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The Baltic states and Poland have also seen an influx of border crossings in recent years, blaming Belarus for opening an irregular migration corridor in response to EU sanctions.
(Charles Szumski | Euractiv.com)