Aquarius: the 'symptom of a bigger disease?'

Aquarius: the 'symptom of a bigger disease?'
By Damon Embling
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"It's a confirmation of the problem that Europe has been having.. it lacks a common response"


Amid a diplomatic row between Italy and France, sparked by the Aquarius rescue ship, migration experts say the drama that's been unfolding in the Mediterranean is confirmation of the lack of a "common response" and "common governance" in the EU. 

Euronews' Damon Embling spoke to Eugenio Ambrosi, Regional Director for the the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

**Damon Embling, Euronews: **"What do you make of the drama that's been unfolding around this rescue ship?"

Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM: "I think it's a confirmation of the problem that Europe has been having for the last three, four years, since the increasing flow has taken place, which is the fact that it lacks a common response and a common handling, and a common governance of the flow and of the migration issue."

Damon Embling, Euronews: "By closing the gate, is Italy breaking the law?"

Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM: "I think it's a little bit of a grey zone, and it all revolves around the definition of closest safe port, it is clear that the responsibility of a ship that rescues people at sea, migrants or any other kind of person, has the obligation and needs to be allowed to dock in the closest safest port. 

"In that specific part of the Mediterranean, Italy is responsible for the search and rescue area as it is called and at the end of the day, they are supposed to make the call as to where a ship can dock or not. So maybe legal what they have done, but not necessarily helpful in this specific situation"

**Damon Embling, Euronews: **"This comes at a time when Europe is facing a massive identity crisis. What do you make of what is going on between France and Italy now?"

Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM: "I think the bigger question is, it is just the migration aspect where the EU doesn't manage to come together, or it is a symptom of a bigger disease if we can call it that, of a Union that seems to be having a lot of divisions on a lot of issues and has difficulties coming together as union. And that is what the EU has to ask itself and hopefully solve."

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