A major tragedy that has reportedly claimed the lives of up to 800 African migrants took place on Sunday, when their boat capsized and sank in the Mediterranean. Only 28 people have been rescued.
"We have a reception problem. If nothing is done to root to address the problem, the flow [may] become unstoppable. The naval blockade? For me it would not be a solution," Rocca said in a statement emailed to Sputnik.
A lack of European resources to react adequately with the soaring number of incoming refugees has already been admitted by a number of top EU officials. On Monday, EU foreign and interior ministers discussed a 10-point action plan on migration envisaging reinforcement of the EU Joint Operations in the Mediterranean.
Currently, the Italian Red Cross is actively involved in assisting arriving migrants.
"We are present in all ports assisting migrants. We cooperate for the first reception. In Sicily, dozens of volunteers, mediators, staff and also a psychological support are alerted. Now we are waiting for 28 survivors and we are ready to provide everything they need," Rocca explained.
- Send Navy patrols to intercept migrants and escort them back home22.2% (263)
- Carry out search-and-rescue operations and fund refugee camps in Europe13.6% (162)
- Support their home countries to stop migrants from leaving51.0% (605)
- Arrest them when they arrive, and send them back home immediately13.1% (156)
Sunday's tragedy spurred heated public debate of the African migrants issue in Europe. The motion by EU ministers on Monday gained full support and will be further considered at the extraordinary European Council meetings on Thursday.
The Mediterranean is one of the main routes for migrants fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. Due to current instability in the region, the number of newcomers has increased dramatically. According to the UN Refugee Agency, the amount of migrants arriving to Europe by sea has increased by 60 percent in the beginning of this year compared to January 2014.