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Parliamentary questions
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4 August 2020
 P-002260/2020
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-002260/2020

The Commission has no competence to indicate safe places for disembarkation. The Commission understands that, given the current exceptional circumstances, Italy’s resources are being devoted to tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and preserving the functioning of essential public services. While the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily impacting Italy’s migration and asylum management system , it is important to ensure that appropriate contingency plans exist to address arrivals that might continue to occur, in full respect of international and European law. In this sense, the Commission welcomes the measures put in place by the Italian authorities, such as imposing a quarantine on any new persons arriving.

Taking into account the pressure on Italy’s reception system, the Commission will also continue encouraging Member States to resume voluntary relocations as soon as the situation allows.

As for the newly established European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) Operation IRINI, while its focus is on the implementation of the United Nations arms embargo, it will also contribute to addressing irregular migration as it will maintain secondary tasks related to the disruption of smuggling and trafficking networks, as well as providing training and capacity building to the Libyan Navy and Coastguard.

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