PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL SECURITY: Effective EU solidarity on Migration must be for real – Minister Carmelo Abela

The ongoing revision of rules governing the European Union’s management of migration, notably the Dublin Regulation rules on asylum, can only be effective if they include a permanent relocation mechanism by which to alleviate migratory pressures on Member States, said Carmelo Abela, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security.

Addressing the Press before a Council meeting of EU Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels on Friday 18th November 2016, Minister Abela applauded the current Slovak Presidency of the EU for bringing the subject up and organising a dinner-discussion on the matter on Thursday, stating that such informal discussions are helpful. He said that while it is evident to all that there is a divergence between Member States on specific points, these can only be overcome through constructive debates, adding that migration affects all EU Member States – be it directly or indirectly. He also welcomed the fact that the discussion has moved from one on ‘flexible’ solidarity to one on ‘effective’ solidarity.

“Effective solidarity must be for real,” Minister Abela said. It is clear that a permanent relocation mechanism is the only means of inserting predictability and automaticity into the Dublin Regulation. This does not mean, however, that the mechanism cannot also account for the specific circumstances of Member States, such as by including other additional mechanisms in the formula. The Minister added that the revision of the Common European Asylum System is only one part of the holistic approach needed to manage migration. The upcoming Maltese Presidency of the Council or the EU, which will prioritise the EU’s work on migration, will focus on all aspects of this holistic approach, including the long-term external dimension which was initiated at the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015, and which now includes compacts with partner countries in Africa.

During today’s Council meeting, EU Ministers also discussed measures to bolster security in the EU. Minister Abela thanked the current Slovak Presidency for focusing the meeting’s agenda on security matters, adding that Malta intends to follow-suit in its Presidency and ensure ample occasions for ministers to discuss important EU initiatives aimed at enhancing internal and external security, including fighting organised crime and terrorism.

Source: Government of Malta.