Greens call for scrapping of Dublin rule, visa system for migrants

Green party candidate Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo call on government, Opposition to implement common political approach on migration

AD chairperson Arnold Cassola
AD chairperson Arnold Cassola

Alternattiva Demokratika candidates Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo have called for a common European approach to the migration challenge faced by frontier nations.

The two MEP candidates called on the government and the opposition to implement a common political approach to address the influx of migrants to Malta. 

Addressing the press opposite the Marsa open centre for migrants, Cacopardo said the migratory influx had to be shouldered by all EU member states.

The European Green Party’s manifesto proposes the removal of the Dublin II regulation, which sends migrants back to their first point of entry in a bid to prevent asylum shopping.

AD Chairperson Arnold Cassola pointed out that both Martin Schulz and Jean Claude Juncker – the Socialists’ and the European People’s party candidates for the presidency of the European Commission – had recognised the importance for Europe to implement a new migration policy.

The Dublin Regulation presumes that the country to which the asylum seeker is to returned will itself support the individual’s human rights and will determine the application for refugee status in accordance with the standards of international law. In addition, a reform of the Regulation will get rid of the current rules that force refugees to apply for asylum only in the country where they have first entered the EU.

“A change in the Dublin II Regulation is seen a key to address Malta’s situation, but while this measure is a fundamental part of the Greens’ manifesto, both Martin Schulz and Jean-Claude Juncker have failed to outline this in their manifesto, instead pledging the relocation of migrants,” Cassola said.

“While Juncker pledged that European solidarity on migration does not remain an empty promise, Schulz argued that Europe lacks a clear migration policy, but then says that a reform of the Dublin regulation alone would not solve the problem of irregular migration.”

Cacopardo said that notwithstanding Schulz’s and Juncker’s failure to include a revision of the Dublin Regulation in their respective manifestos, both Labour and the Nationalist parties are agreeing on the importance for migration to be shouldered by all countries.

 “This political overlap is key to address the issue of migration. Both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party are recognising AD’s proposals. The time has come for all parties to unite and implement a common political approach on migration,” Cacopardo said.

“Incitement of racial hatred is not a solution. There has to be a common political approach,” he said.

Outlining the Green Party’s proposals to alleviate the migratory burden, Cassola explained that the Dublin Regulation should be removed entirely, and that more focus should be placed on burden sharing. “While waiting for their asylum application to be processed, migrants should not be forced to stay in one country, but conversely, they should be allowed to relocate migrants,” Cassola said.

Cassola also argued that migrants should be afforded the opportunity to apply for visas in order to travel for specific countries. “Asylum-seekers should apply for a specific visa to go to a specific country directly instead of coming to Malta. That way migrants will enter Malta or any other European country legally,” Cassola said.

However Cassola was quick to underline the fact that countries would not be obliged to accept the visa application, insisting that these would be analysed on a case-by-case basis by the countries’ respective embassies.

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