Von der Leyen in Sicily: European solution on migrants possible

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A European solution on migrants is possible, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the university of Palermo Thursday.

“We must fight smugglers and traffickers, dialogue with partner countries, cooperate in the repatriation of those who have no right to stay,” she said.

“And we must cooperate at the European level. Europe must extend its solidarity to all member states and local communities”.

She went on: “It is precisely in this spirit that we have proposed the new pact on migration and asylum. Each of us must do our part and we must support each other. Now that we have a plan, we must implement it together. A European solution is possible”.

Von der Leyen went on to say that Europe found its strength in the darkest hour of the pandemic and the Ukraine war, with its related cost of living crisis.

“It is often in the darkest hour that we find our inner strength. This is what is happening in our Union. The trials of the past three years are probably the most difficult Europe has ever faced.

“First the pandemic and its economic repercussions, then the war and the soaring cost of living.

“But these crises have taught us something. We have learnt that the destinies of us Europeans are intertwined,’ she said at the opening of the academic year at the Palermo university.

From the left, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit in Palermo. EC Audiovisual Service.

The EU Commission chief went on to say that Sicily can become a clean energy powerhouse for Europe.

“Sicily can become a clean energy powerhouse for Europe. Not only does this island have plenty of sun and wind: it also has a solid industrial base in the clean technology sector.

“Sicily is also crucial for the energy transition for another reason. A few miles from your shores is what could become another clean energy giant: Africa.

“The time has come for a new strategic pivot of Europe towards the Mediterranean”.

See also: Photo Story: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen In Sicily


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