"There was not only one authority responsible" for the tragedy in which 63 migrants expelled from a warring Libya lost their lives, Strik said, "but a number of authorities who failed to react as they should have done. There are guidelines from the International Maritime Organisation that attribute responsibility for the rescue, but Italy disputes this. There is also disagreement between Italy and Malta over responsibility for the landings".
"It is important to find a common stance on who must bring the people onto dry land, who is in charge of asylum procedures and who receives them," Strik continued. "Shared responsibility among EU countries is needed, which is why we are calling for a protocol for the Mediterranean".
"The problem concerns Mediterranean countries in particular, but no member state of the Council of Europe can consider itself foreign to the issue," added Giacomo Santini, the president of the immigration committee at the Council of Europe assembly. "It is also true that those who arrive often want to go to another country within the EU. We have no resources, but the EU does and can make decisive interventions". (ANSAmed).