One of the key issues on the European political agenda, which has been repeatedly referred to by the Italian Government, is the protection of Europe’s external borders. The March CoR plenary debate with the Swedish Presidency was therefore the perfect opportunity for ECR President Marsilio to highlight this.
While noting that the Union needs coordinated action between Member States for effective migration and asylum management, the Abruzzo region President also drew attention to the importance of "cooperation with third countries to step up their return efforts, and to stop illegal migration flows once and for all".
It is estimated that about two-thirds of migrants who attempt the dangerous and costly journey to Europe, by placing their lives in the hands of human traffickers, are neither refugees nor have the right to international protection. For Mr Marsilio, these figures are dramatic, and in this regard, he pleaded with the European institutions and member states to not only "invest in information campaigns aimed at preventing irregular migrants from embarking on dangerous journeys to Europe", but at the same time "seriously penalising those who run the illegal immigration business".
Another hot topic he evoked, noting its importance for European automotive regions, such as Abruzzo, is the recent decision of EU member states’ ambassadors to postpone the final approval of the proposal that would make it impossible to buy a new petrol or diesel car from 2035. Welcoming this as "good news for those who want a globally competitive Europe and a more pragmatic view on the green transition" Mr Marsilio thanked the Swedish Presidency for allowing "further reflection on this issue which would have caused an economic and social disaster in Abruzzo and many other European regions".
Industry and technology are changing at a very fast pace and opportunities for innovation and competitiveness are greater than before, which is why the President concluded on the significance of defending the "principle of technological neutrality, which can also lead to lower emissions".
For further information, a recording in Italian of the plenary debate is available here