The link to the Conference is here
The new concept form the European Commission on how to deal with migrants became an agenda last week, on May 13th (Agenda)
The content of this agenda has been analysed and commented at large by all major media houses in Europe, Italy and Germany too.
The differences in how this took place could be summarised as follows though: the Italian coverage on the migration-related events went not much further than that; German analysis continued the analysis of the many related aspects, such as the growing number of migrants saved (Zeit.de), the condition of migrants and asylum seekers once they are are granted a temporary stay; it also took a much more critical stance on the many ambiguous points the concept leaves uncleared.
In my understanding that has been possible in Germany since many newspapers stories focused on migration in the days after the tragedy as well as the days heading to the presentation of the concept. Another reason for that is Italy´s attitude towards Ms Mogherini: being a national plays down the many critical points and general statements she delivered at the UN and within the EU meetings, even more in a country being described as pro EU, pro UN and not very self-reflective since decades.
On top of that by the beginning of May Italy´s media reporting was overwhelmed by the reporting on the launch of this year EXPO (link) so that migration had become again a minor topic for all major newspapers. The simple fact that more lives were saved than migrants drowned created a spiral of growing incuriosity.
The opening of the world exposition managed to focus most media coverage around the premier and the event so that even the usually highly covered 1st of May celebration – with its focus on workers´ rights and working conditions – became a minor event when compared with the one in Milan.
News about migration turned into headlines once a child was found at the border with Spain inside a luggage or alternatively when a baby was born on a vessel. Once more in depth analysis or stories centred around what refugees are confronted with missed to reach relevance.
This one short commentary by M.S. Natale on the Corriere della Sera from May 12 sums up vividly and tragically how the discussion within the EU misses the real point: “Migranti: La Solidarietà dell´Europa con se stessa”
The complex issue of migration to the EU with the tragic growing number of deaths over the Mediterranean sea cries for a discussion which shall be both more focused on the disaster in terms of human beings died and also more centred on the driving forces behind the decision of thousands of migrants of risking anything to flee their homes.
In the days following the latest and so far biggest tragedy German and Italian media outfits developed a rather different approach.
The general sense is that in Germany journalists and media houses follow the development of events but also put those issues in a wider context; the role of national and European institutions, the situation in the countries of origin, the concept that there is a tragedy behind risking everything over the most dangerous migration route nowadays are also integrated in the editorial and articles of the online editions. Here follow two examples.
In Italy there has been a tendency to a rather petty description of events: what happened on that boat, how many smugglers were captured this one time, how evil they are. But if you are looking for a word about Syria for instance, well you will not find it so easily. Repubblica
There are nevertheless stories about the dire condition of prisoning migrants undergo in Libya, as for example on this article by Corriere della Sera. Sadly enough it looks very likely that in a week from now – provided that no more tragedy happens – even this kind of reports will disappear.