European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen attends a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R) before their meeting in Rome, Italy, Aug. 2, 2019. The European Union (EU) Commission could propose a new "effective, efficient, but also human" pact on migration and asylum, European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen said here on Friday before meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/ Xinhua)
by Alessandra Cardone
ROME, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) Commission could propose a new "effective, efficient, but also human" pact on migration and asylum, European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen said here on Friday before meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
The president-elect of the EU executive body -- who was nominated in early July -- was invited here to discuss the priorities for the EU's new legislature, and the profile of the candidate commissioner Italy will soon have to propose.
According to what Conte explained before the meeting, the bilateral talks would focus on growth, employment, migration, and climate change.
"With regards to migration and asylum, I would like to propose a new pact, because I believe we do need a new solution," Von der Leyen told a short press conference.
She added EU's procedures on this matter should be "effective, efficient, but also human" and agreed with Conte that a fairer way to share responsibility for migrants in Europe was needed.
"The concept of division and allocation (of migrants and asylum seekers) definitely has to be reviewed, and I am aware countries such as Italy, Greece, and Spain are geographically more exposed," she said.
Yet, she also warned that "solidarity is crucial, but it never comes unilaterally."
"If we work together, I am sure we will find solutions," she specified.
Von der Leyen explained her primary political goal, as new Commission chief, would be to have the EU overcome its divisions "between north and south, east and west, and small countries versus big countries."
Beside migration -- on which Conte reiterated Italy's long-time request for a reform of the Dublin Regulation ruling over the distribution of new arrivals across the bloc -- the prime minister said growth and employment were on top of Italy's agenda in Europe.
"It is for us crucial to boost growth and to support active employment policies... especially for the youth," Conte told reporters.
"We also want (growth and employment) policies to be shaped according to the needs of the more impoverished regions (in Europe), and our southern regions are among them."
"We need to revamp the South, and we want the full support of Europe on this," Conte stressed.
As for Italy's candidate to the EU Commission, Conte said his government would propose "the most suitable profile for the job."
"As you all know, we ask for a relevant economic portfolio (in the new Commission)," he told the press conference.
"(We ask this) Because we believe it would be fit for the ambitions and the responsibilities Italy is ready to take on in the new European legislature."
The EU Commission comprises 29 commissioners plus the president. Commissioners are proposed by the member states, and chosen by the president in discussion and cooperation with the respective national governments (of each candidate).
Once formed, the commission must face the scrutiny of the European parliament, which can approve or reject the whole body in a voting.