Migration concerns the whole of the European Union - not just entry points like Italy and Spain - so the bloc must show solidarity in managing the phenomenon, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday.
"Migration is a challenge - not only for EU border states like Italy and Spain but for the whole EU," Di Maio told El Periodico newspaper.
"It therefore requires a joint response based on solidarity, and burden-sharing and fairness," Di Maio said in the interview.
Italy has never shied away from its moral and legal obligations to rescue people at sea, but the scale of the migrant influx requires a "systemic" approach by the EU, Di Maio argued.
"We need a systemic approach to the management of migration in the Mediterranean with concrete contribution from the EU and its member states," he said.
A total 18,170 migrants landed on Italy's coast this year - more than three times the number of landings at the same point of 2020 (5,696), according to interior ministry figures issued on Thursday.