European Union Seeks to Improve Marine Patrol for Migrants

Sunken vessel near Lampedusa calls for better solution

By Julienne Bay, Staff Writer

The European Union requested extra funding for marine patrol in the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. This effort imposes more control and rescue boats loaded with migrants from Africa and the Middle East following last week’s incident where a sunken vessel killed more than 300 migrants near the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Cecilia Malmström, the EU commissioner for home affairs, said EU interior ministers support boosting the resources of Frontex, EU’s border patrol agency. Malmström has asked Frontex to come up with a proposal for an operation that allows better intercepting and rescuing migrant boats. Although Italy supports the proposal, some worry that it may not be an appropriate response to problems of illegal immigration and human trafficking.

José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, said today that EU will give Italy 30 million Euros to help deal with immigrants, including improving the immigration centres. In today’s meeting with Barroso, Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced that Italy will hold a state funeral for the migrants that drowned near the island of Lampedusa. “It’s something, I think, one cannot forget: coffins of babies, coffins of a mother and a child that was born at that moment,” Barroso said at a news conference. “This is something that profoundly shocked me.”

Julienne Bay is a j-student from Toronto. As an avid traveller, coffee-drinker and documentary junkie, she’s constantly trying to figure out what it means to be human.

Photo courtesy to dailymail.co.uk & Voice of America news

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