There can be no "flexible solidarity" from the European Union on the redistribution of migrants, and the bloc must ensure that relocations occur, Italy's interior minister Luciana Lamorgese said on Thursday.
"Italy does not accept the concept of 'flexible compulsory solidarity'," Lamorgese stated at the end of an informal video conference of EU interior ministers.
"After migrants have undergone the necessary health and security checks, the EU must guarantee their actual transfer to member states," Lamorgese added.
Lamorgese praised EU rotating president Portugal for its "strenuous efforts" to advance negotiations on a new immigration and asylum pact proposed by the European Commission, which must be concluded "as soon as possible," she said.
Reaching consensus on a common EU policy on migration has eluded the 27-member bloc for years. Front-line Mediterranean nations like Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain are demanding more help from their EU neighbours, although the number of migrant arrivals has dwindled in recent years from a peak of over a million in 2015.
Portugal began consultations with EU states earlier this month on a new migration policy and wants to reach a comprehensive deal with countries on the Mediterranean's southern shores, from where many migrants cross to Europe by boat.