Joint efforts to tackle irregular migration – in particular along the Balkan route – was one of the central themes discussed by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani during a visit to Croatia and Slovenia last week.
Italy’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Antonio Tajani, has met with the government leaders of Croatia and Slovenia to discuss issues including strengthening bilateral cooperation, stability in the western Balkans, European integration and support for minorities.
“The stability of the western Balkans is very important for our countries, because it also means a decrease in illegal migrant flows,” said Tajani at the end of a meeting with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Grlic-Radman.
“We have to deal with this problem together or we will not solve it,” he added, stressing how an effective solution to the issue of irregular migration can only be found at a European level.
“Our cooperation isn’t enough, European responses are necessary,” Tajani stressed in Ljubljana, during a meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon. And the Italian minister announced an upcoming trilateral meeting in Rome with Slovenia and Croatia to discuss forms of collaboration against migrant flows along the Balkan route.
“The stabilization of irregular migration along the Balkan route can also be achieved through the enlargement of the European Union to Western Balkan countries,” observed Tajani.
Talks in Croatia and Slovenia also focused on strengthening economic and commercial cooperation.
Italy is Zagreb’s top commercial partner with exchanges worth over eight billion euros, while exchanges with Ljubljana are worth approximately 13 billion euros. In both capitals, Tajani promoted Rome’s candidature to host Expo 2030.
Minorities – ‘resources and not a problem’
Another key theme at the center of Tajani’s talks concerned minorities, which the foreign minister described as “resources and not a problem.”
“I have vowed to listen and contribute to the solution of problems of Italian minorities in Slovenia and Croatia, but at the same time I will work to find solutions for Slovenian-language Italian citizens, starting with the technical problems of (Italian State broadcaster) Rai’s programs in the Slovenian language,” said Tajani, who met with local representatives of Italian minorities in Zagreb and Ljubljana.
During the mission, Tajani also met with the Croatian and Slovenian premiers, respectively Andrej Plenkovic and Robert Golob, and Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar.
Source : InfoMigrants