The conference was opened by the interview to the former Italian Minister of Interior, Marco Minniti, by the journalist Fiorenza Sarzanini. Mr. Minniti emphasised that currently there is no immigration emergency in Italy and in Europe, that migration flows have decreased significantly in the last year and that the few immigrants currently coming to Europe could easily be welcomed and integrated. Nevertheless, the problem of the perception of the phenomenon is serious, due to the poverty, weakness and crisis of the welfare State that the European societies are still experiencing as a result of the economic crisis.
The problem of perception is severe and must be fought, not ignored. The European left was wrong not to listen to and respond to the fear and anger that the crisis caused among European citizens. The task of the left is to stand next to frightened people in order to free them from fear. The national-populist parties stand next to those who are afraid but they have no interest in setting them free from fear. Rather they keep them chained to their fear in order to take advantage from it. We need to counteract the idea exploited by national-populists that reception of migrants and security are opposing and contrasting objectives. Politics must find a way to reconcile these aims. To avoid deaths at sea, it is necessary to keep active the current system of rescue at sea by means of all its three pillars: the Italian Coast Guard, the Libyan Coast Guard in Libyan territorial waters and NGOs.