Spanish FM Calls on EU to Open Channels for Legal Immigration


Spain’s Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, said that the European Union should open channels for legal immigration, as a step to fight human trafficking.

This came during her speech at the 17th Italian-Spanish Dialogue Forum in Rome. There, she discussed the ongoing negotiations in Europe on the issue of immigration and added that, “Europe is obligated to create a framework that opens legal channels for migration.” She also reminded that Europe is at the same time obligated “to combat the illegal trafficking of human beings.”

Gonzalez Laya stated that “There is a need for greater cooperation at the European level on the issue of refugees and asylum seekers, one that involves countries of transit.”

“Europe believes in pluralism, not because we are naive, but because it is the only way to solve the interdependence problems that we face,” Gonzalez noted. She explained that Europe “Must face the COVID-19 crisis successfully,” because “if it does not succeed, it will not be able to give a push to a new multilateralism.”

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that a total of 9,839 illegal migrants have been rescued off Libya’s coast in 2020.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to address the “dire situation” of migrants coming from Libya to Europe. It denounced the violence against migrants who are seeking safety in Europe. The international organisation demanded that states “tackle the shocking conditions migrants face in Libya, at sea, and upon their reception in Europe.”