Joint migrant management is crucial for the European Union, President Sergio Mattarella said Friday in the wake of a Franco-Italian spat over a migrant rescue ship that ended up in France after Italy refused it access.

The "management of migratory flows" is "a decisive and global issue" that "it seems vain to think can be eclipsed", Mattarella told the 8th Rome Med - Mediterranean Dialogues Conference.

"Diplomacies, and national and international organisations, starting with the EU, are called to a common commitment", - ANSA reports Mattarella speech.

He said "the destiny and dignity of human beings are at stake. It is a crucial issue for the stability and prosperity of the EU and our southern neighbours."

"All this must spur us to face these challenges together in a spirit of strong solidarity".
The case of the French NGO run Ocean Viking has strained Italo-French ties and spurred Paris to refuse relocations, inviting other EU members to follow suit.

On Ukraine, Mattarella said that "multilateralism is the solution to the storm".

He asked "are we at a crossroads for war and peace for progress?" The Italian head of State also said that "concrete steps" had been taken against the food crisis caused by the conflict.

Europe France Italy Mattarella Migrants Migration