Rome, Sep 19 : The European Union should shoulder the cost of sending back migrants to the bloc and needs "an automatic redistribution mechanism" to ease the burden on arrival states, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella said on Thursday.
"We believe it is right that countries should feel a shared responsibility in the face of such an epoch-making phenomenon as migration," he said after talks at the Qurinale Palace here with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is on an official visit to Italy.
"We think it is necessary to find solutions that hopefully can be shared by the whole EU and allow an automatic redistribution mechanism for migrants and their repatriation at the bloc's expense," said Mattarella.
The whole of the EU should finance migrant repatriations because it can do this more effectively than individual countries, he said.
"In this way, those who do not have the right to political asylum will not be maintained by European countries," Mattarella underlined.
But Italy's head of state sounded a note of caution.
"Migrant repatriations must be carried out with respect for their individual situations and their human rights," Mattarella said.