[WATCH] Italian and Maltese heads of state discuss migration and EU affairs

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca: EU states must work with countries of origin and countries that are receiving migrants

Amy Micallef Decesare
13 September 2017, 4:44pm
'This problem doesn’t affect Italy or Greece alone. It is something that we all have to deal with together' says Italian president Sergio Mattarella. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
'This problem doesn’t affect Italy or Greece alone. It is something that we all have to deal with together' says Italian president Sergio Mattarella. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Italian and Maltese heads of state discuss migration and EU affairs
Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Malta today for a scheduled visit with President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in the Mediterranean, including migration and EU developments.

At the Palace in Valletta, following an exchange of gifts, the heads of state were asked a series of questions regarding their opinions on the current situation within the European Union on migration and their security.

Addressing the issue, Mattarella said that the two main topics, as far as migration is concerned were “improving living conditions in the countries of origin and guaranteeing legal or orderly routes to enter the EU”.

Mattarella claimed this was a method EU citizens were likely to understand and get on board with.

Mattarella addressed the concerns about the current situation in Libya: “we have to be able to create dignified and acceptable living conditions in the refugee camps” as “it is something that we [members of the EU] all have to deal with together”.

This morning, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in his State of the Union speech that there had been signs of recovery in the European Union. In spite of this, he asked that the “EU members of states deal with more boldness, more bravery during the recovery”. He went on to add that there was still a great deal to be done with regards to migration issues.

Coleiro Preca said: “There needs to be a complex approach, or rather, a holistic approach to the issue in terms of short-term, medium-term and even long-term. We need to work, not just as one whole European Union in solidarity with each other but also with transit countries, the countries of origin and countries that are receiving migrants.”

She added that a great deal of work has been done in Malta, with migration having been placed as “one of our top priorities during the presidency. We are very active and pro-active on the issue of migration.”

Coleiro Preca also emphasised the issue of poverty within the EU.

“If one takes into consideration that there are 118 million Europeans who are at risk of poverty, that tells us a lot and I think that our member states have to do much more.”