PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENT OF MALTA: Maltese delegation participates in the LVI COSAC Plenary

Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee Luciano Busuttil and member of the same committee Francis Zammit Dimech participated in the LVI COSAC meeting held between the 13th and 15th November 2016 in Bratislava. COSAC meets once every six months and gathers chairpersons and members of European Affairs Committees of national parliaments in the European Union to discuss topical issues of European interest. Several topics have been covered during the Bratislava conference including the priorities of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the role of national parliaments in the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Energy Union, and the issue of migration, with particular reference to the security of European borders.

During the debates Luciano Busuttil stressed that Europe needs solidarity that incorporates responsibility from all member states across the EU. He also spoke about the importance of strengthening European Union borders and noted that when it comes to island states like Malta, one needs to take into account different considerations than those necessary to secure land borders.

Francis Zammit Dimech made reference to the European Union policy on migration and pointed out that this needs to be seen holistically since this is a multi-faceted situation. Although one of the principal aspects of the EU migration policy is the need to strengthen EU borders, there are various other important factors like relocation, common rules on asylum, return policy and integration measures. He stressed that the term burden-sharing in itself should be substituted with the term ‘co-responsibility’ since all member states should shoulder the responsibility together. Francis Zammit Dimech also made reference to other factors such as combating human trafficking, and the reform of Dublin II. He concluded by arguing that these factors need to implemented within the context of the values and principles of the European Union.

The Maltese delegation also participated in the Meeting of the Presidential Troika together with the Slovak, Dutch and European Parliament delegations, which meets in order to set the agenda for the Conference.

At the end of the plenary session, Luciano Busuttil informed the delegations about the COSAC meetings being planned to be held in the framework of the parliamentary dimension of the Maltese Presidency during the first six months of 2017.

Source: Government of Malta.