Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni on Friday (29 September) reported "convergence" among Mediterranean states on tackling migration and said she looked forward to EU leaders ironing out the details of a plan proposed by the European Commission.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the plan on 18 September following a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa after a major influx of migrant arrivals.
Speaking at the end of a meeting of southern EU states in Malta, Meloni said the time had come for a "concrete, structured and definitive way forward."
While Italy and other frontline states such as Malta were suffering the strong pressures of the migration problems, other countries would be affected, too, in the absence of a structured response," she warned.
Meloni said an EU summit meeting to be held next month should therefore offer measures to tackle smugglers and offer alternatives to migration to North African countries.
She insisted that smugglers should not be allowed to decide who entered Europe and that the EU should fight harder to dismantle their networks and funding while reaching agreements with North African countries to stop migrant departures.
Earlier, the meeting, which also included French President Emmanuel Macron, in a joint statement called for an intensification of negotiations on a Migration and Asylum Pact.
"The challenge of irregular migration remains a sensitive and complex reality that requires a sustained and holistic European response, both in the short term and medium term," the statement said.