EU states cannot bury their heads in the sand on migration: Metsola

MEP Roberta Metsola urges the EU to act on migration

MEP Roberta Metsola urges the EU to act on migration
MEP Roberta Metsola urges the EU to act on migration

During a debate in the European Parliament, on human trafficking in the Mediterranean, Maltese Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Roberta  Metsola called for a better, more holistic approach to tackle human trafficking networks that prey on the most vulnerable members of society.

Referring to the worrying new trend of 'ghost ships', Dr Metsola said: "These unseaworthy vessels are put on auto-pilot and have no crew to steer the boats. The images we have seen of decommissioned livestock vessels packed with vulnerable people will come back to haunt us. These vessels are packed with more people than before,”

“We are risking yet another tragedy in the  Mediterranean, the likes of which we have never seen."

Metsola said that the EU needs to work with third countries to try to put a stop to this activity.

“The EU needs to have the political courage to look at long-term  approaches that go beyond MEPs five-year mandate. These approaches could include looking at legal avenues to migration and helping the worst affected countries get back on their feet,”

"We need the courage to realize that the issue of migration cannot be faced by the Mediterranean countries on the periphery of Europe on their own. Every European government is as responsible as countries like Malta and Italy. They cannot shirk their responsibilities just because of they are not geographically in the Mediterranean" Metsola said

Metsola noted that the European parliament has passed two resolutions calling for action in the Mediterranean in the last 18 months. She insisted that the council needs to act now:

"We can no longer have Member States burying their heads in the sand and washing their hands of responsibility. This is a European issue and it needs a European solution."

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