Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her U.K. counterpart Rishi Sunak made a joint call for action against undocumented migration, urging other European countries to show the “same sense of urgency” as Britain and Italy to end what they call a “moral and humanitarian crisis.”
In a joint opinion piece published Friday in the Times, the two leaders, from the far-right Brothers of Italy and Britain’s Conservative Party, said they are working together to stop thousands of migrants entering Europe through Italy and making their way to the U.K.
“We’re proud that Italy and the U.K. are leading on this together, because in this, and many other areas, our perspectives and our goals are the same,” they write. “In fact, we are two of the closest friends in Europe today.”
Migration is a “moral,” “humanitarian” and “European crisis,” Sunak and Meloni write, which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people this year alone. “Now is the time for action,” write the two prime ministers, adding that they are “seeking serious, long-term solutions to the greatest global challenges we face.”
The opinion piece comes on the tail of Thursday’s European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain, where discussions — and the lack of thereof — over migration caused some tensions with Spain.
After failing to convince Spain to put migration on the main agenda, Sunak convened a meeting with Italy, the Netherlands, France, Albania and the European Commission on the sidelines of the summit. At the meeting, the countries agreed on an “eight-point plan” to tackle migration.