The European Commission has called for a pragmatic approach to address the issue of irregular migration and the search for solutions tailored to the countries of the Mediterranean region, stressing the need for the partnership signed between Tunisia and the European Union to be a model for an agreement with the countries of the region.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech to the Rome International Conference on Migration on Sunday, "We meet in Rome with a common goal of turning the conference into an opportunity to establish a strong and sustainable partnership, we all belong to the same region on the shores of the Mediterranean and have social and economic ties and cooperation between North and South."
Attempts to stem migration flows
Von der Leyen added: "We are trying to change this bitter situation. We face the catastrophic repercussions of climate change. We must prevent the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean," she said, referring to migration flows to European shores.
Addressing this issue requires "comprehensive strategies in investment, trade, development and infrastructure based on solidarity, sovereignty and shared responsibility, and think about climate change."
Von der Leyen pointed to European investment in clean energy and the need to import a large amount of energy from abroad, noting that clean energy production in Europe "costs only 10 years and two years in Tunisia."
European agreement with Tunisia
"Tunisia has an abundance of clean energy, and this provides a gain for us," the European official said. She added that "Tunisia is interested in building capacities for domestic consumption and export, and we are working with Tunisia to address climate change," stressing the need for "our agreement with Tunisia to be a model for an agreement with the countries of the region."
The President of the European Commission also called for "adopting a pragmatic approach" and searching for "customized solutions and investing in clean energy", noting that the Mediterranean region enjoys huge and diverse renewable energy resources, and the ambition of the countries of the region to be a renewable energy hub.