Intense tensions between Paris and Rome over how to manage potential refugees drove EU migration reform back onto the agenda as European interior ministers gathered for crisis talks on Friday.
Despite the fact that the number of new arrivals has not yet reached the levels of 2015 and 2016, European capitals are worried about increased pressure on maritime routes from North Africa and overland through the western Balkans. And now that winter has arrived in eastern Europe and Russian airstrikes are causing power outages in Ukrainian cities, the European Union is preparing for a large influx of war refugees.
A new conflict has brought the problem to the fore as the EU has been battling for years to come to an agreement and adopt a new strategy for sharing responsibility for migrants and asylum seekers.
A Norwegian-flagged NGO ship carrying 234 migrants who had been rescued from the Mediterranean was refused permission to land earlier this month by Italy’s new government, led by far-right politician Georgia Meloni.