"The knots with Italy" on the issue of migration, in particular on the application of the law, "have not yet been resolved".
Marking the distance - while the Internal Affairs Council is underway in Brussels with a chapter expressly reserved for the delicate reform of the Dublin treaty - is Paris, on the eve of the Alicante summit, which is bringing the nine Mediterranean EU countries to the table.
The Elysée returns to the clash with Rome that took place in the first weeks of Meloni's government: "We have not yet seen any changes in the position of the Italian authorities on the application of flag state law", notes a source from the French presidency.
Which then is one of the most delicate chapters, and still open,
on which the EU is discussing to arrive at the reform of the rules governing entry into Europe.
In short, the sparks continue on the transalpine arc.
Palazzo Chigi denies, for example, that any "official invitation" has arrived from Emmanuel Macron's secretariat for a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, contrary to what is claimed by the Elysée, which says it is awaiting "proposals" on the dates of a trip to Paris, in order to defuse tensions on the case of the Ocean Viking.
"Let's imagine that certain invitations are not made in the press", specifies sources of the Italian government.
Nor, for now, are there any meetings on the sidelines of the Alicante summit, where the table will be much smaller than that of the European Council (scheduled for next Thursday).
according to various diplomatic sources, public tensions do not enter the button rooms of Brussels, where the negotiations that matter are held.
Just like the Internal Affairs Council.
On the contrary.
In the Belgian capital, progress is even being made.
Today we have reached a political orientation on the delicate balance between solidarity and responsibility", assures Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs. In practice, a "political compromise on the principle that governs" the balance between responsibility (for bailouts) and solidarity (in relocations) and now "it will be up to the Swedish presidency to translate this agreement into legislative acts".
compliance with the current rules on registrations in the countries of first landing and therefore the reduction of secondary movements of migrants.
A balance, in fact, not easy to find and always subject to landslides.
On this aspect, however, France itself is diluting.
"We have focused on a Franco-Italian discussion when, on the other hand, it is obviously a much broader discussion", they reason at the Elysée, welcoming the progress made compared to last month, in particular, with the extraordinary meeting of EU interior ministers on November 25, when "it was clear that it was a European question".
The work continues.
In all of this, however, one certain fact is celebrated in Brussels: Croatia's entry into Schengen, the European ecosystem that allows travel without borders,
after the go-ahead from the Council.
Of course, according to the promises of the Commission and the rotating Presidency (Czech Republic), Schengen should have grown by three members, with the arrival of Romania and Bulgaria as well, thus completing the blue-starred 'belt', joining the Greek borders.
But no: the veto of Austria (and the Netherlands) has left Bucharest and Sofia out again, despite the fact that the two countries now have the necessary requisites for the EU executive.
"An incomprehensible and unjustified choice", commented the disappointed Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, according to whom Romania and Bulgaria "would make an important contribution to the control of the EU's eastern borders".
But since the snitch on the subject is in the hands of the Member States, the motion was rejected.
"Despite the clear signs,