Dublin regulation reform ‘won’t solve irregular migration burden’ – Schulz

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says common migration policy ‘a very interesting prospect for us’

European Commission President candidate Martin Schulz (Photo: Ray Attard)
European Commission President candidate Martin Schulz (Photo: Ray Attard)

A reform of the Dublin II regulation will not solve the migration burden faced by member states like Malta, according to outgoing European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

“We cannot put every problem under the Dublin rule… its goal is in a way limited and there are problems which are not addressed by this regulation. It attempts to bring a certain procedure on a European level and addresses political refugees. But there are different forms of migrants,” he said.

Schulz, a candidate for the upcoming elections for the president of the European Commission, was addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at Auberge de Castille.

Schulz argued that the issue of migration should be tackled on three fronts, starting by all member states understanding that migration is “a problem that exists”.

“Some say Europe is not a continent of migration. But we are. We have to distinguish between political refugees, those who leave their region because they cannot stay due to natural disasters or civil wars and those who need temporary protection.”

By way of example, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the EP explained that in the 80s, several Lebanese had temporary migrated to Europe until the war in their country ended. “Then they went back and helped rebuild their country. We have a similar situation in Syria. This is how temporary protection can help these persons, but for this we need conditions and timeframes.”

Schulz pointed out that it was not “forbidden” for migrants to enter Europe legally. In the same way, several Europeans had migrated to other continents. In his words, what the EU needed was a new system of legal migration.

“Europeans must understand that there is migration to Europe like people from Europe migrated elsewhere.”

Schulz referred to migration systems existent in Canada and the United States. “What I say however does not go down well with left-wingers. A system of legal migration at the same time means that not everyone can come, because of the rules. We would require a mutual understanding on quotas and how to manage such a system.”

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who hailed Schulz as “Malta’s good friend”, said a common policy on migration “is very interesting to us”. It means, he added, cutting away criminal rackets.