"In Europe, the Italian government and the M5S will work to strengthen the front of the countries … — Italy, Malta, Greece and Spain — to make the reform of the Dublin agreements included in the European agenda. It will not be easy to overcome the national selfishness that prevails in Europe not only among the countries of the Visegrad Group, but we will do our best, because on this matter the very soul of Europe is at stake," Petrocelli said, when asked if a new composition of the European Parliament would impact an EU policy on migration.
An election in May saw some parties with a harsh stance on immigration up their seat count in the European parliament.
The Italian lawmaker stressed that tackling a migrant inflow crisis meant addressing the root causes of migration.
"Creating a fair system of automatic and compulsory redistribution of migrants is only the first step: it is useless to deal with the consequences of the influx of migrants without addressing its causes, namely by tackling conflicts, poverty and environmental problems [in the countries of origin]. Europe must promote peace and development in the countries of origin of migrants putting an end to the schizophrenic and hypocritical attitude of those who with one hand give some alms and with the other hand continue to sell arms, supporting dictatorships and facilitating the predation of natural and financial resources," the lawmaker said.
Under Dublin regulation, upheld by the European Court of Justice in 2017, an EU member state can send migrants back to the country of their first entry into the bloc. However, countries, such as Italy, which often serves as a first-entry state, have been unhappy with the influx of migrants that rapidly increased in 2015.
The Visegrad Four — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — have been critical of the EU system for the relocation of migrants, under which all member states should take in a certain number of migrants to ease the burden on the countries most affected by the crisis.