What is the ‘Rome Process’, Giorgia Meloni’s new plan to tackle irregular migration?

Press quote (Euronews)
25 July 2023

"I don't see the Rome Process as a major step, but rather as yet another initiative to address migration into Europe," said Luigi Scazzieri, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform.

"Europe is trying to attract more cooperation to stem migration flows and return migrants from countries of origin and transit. In turn, they are trying to extract more money and political attention from Europe," he added.

"Meloni has changed tone on legal migration, aware of labour shortages in Italy. But she has not changed tone on illegal migration," Scazzieri said.

"She is attempting to make a distinction between legal and illegal migration, hoping that her supporters will see the difference," he added. 

"I think her shift also reflects a recognition that she needs to offer third countries some legal migration routes if she wants them to co-operate more in terms of reducing illegal migration flows."

With the EU set to continue externalising its border controls to third countries, its partners “have an interest to extract greater benefits from the EU for their co-operation,” Scazzieri said. “So these relationships are inherently unstable and have to be regularly re-negotiated.”