MEP Miriam Dalli says EU Agenda provides positive steps

MEP Miriam Dalli says that the EU Agenda on Migration provided some positive steps while she stressed that burden sharing needed to bear in mind the revision of the Dublin Regulations

MEP Miriam Dalli
MEP Miriam Dalli

In her first reaction, MEP Miriam Dalli said that the EU Agenda on Migration provides positive steps, while emphasising that burden sharing should go hand-in-hand with a revision of the Dublin Regulations.

Dalli added that all the member states should do their part to make this agenda on migration a reality.

“What the European Commission presented today can be considered as important progress on certain crucial measures, including operations to save lives at sea and distribution keys on resettlement and relocation among the EU Member States,” Dalli said.

“This is a European responsibility and not the duty of external border countries like Malta and Italy alone. However for this distribution key to be effective there needs to be a proper revision of the current Dublin Asylum system.”

The Commission proposed to undertake an evaluation of the Dublin system in 2016 and based on this evaluation will it determine whether a revision of Dublin will be to achieve a fairer distribution of asylum seekers.

“It is positive that the Commission is acknowledging the need to address the root causes of immigration by increasing engagement in areas of conflict from where people are fleeing, however I think that there is not enough emphasis on Libya.”

She explained that Libya is right in the centre of illegal immigration hubs and routes and that the instability that is reigning in the country is making the situation much worse.

“It is positive that the Commission recognised the EU-African Union summit that will be organised in Malta as another step towards a long-term solution to address the problem of immigration,” she said adding that for this agenda to start giving results, words need to be put into action and all the member states should do their part.

Dalli was reacting to the Commission’s suggested concrete steps to face the issue of migration. The suggested steps include tripling the capacities and assets for the Frontex joint operations Triton and Poseidon in 2015 and 2016.

“An amending budget for 2015 was adopted today to secure the necessary funds – a total of €89 million, including €57 million in AMIF and €5 million in ISF emergency funding for frontline Member States – and the new Triton Operational Plan will be presented by the end of May,” the Commission said in a statement issued today.

There will also be a temporary distribution mechanism for persons in clear need of international protection within the EU with a proposal for a permanent EU system for relocation in emergency situations of mass influxes following by the end of 2015.

Proposals also include an EU-wide resettlement scheme to offer 20,000 places distributed in all member states to displaced persons in clear need of international protection in Europe with a dedicated extra funding of €50 million for 2015 and 2016.

“Launching a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operation in the Mediterranean to dismantle traffickers' networks and fight smuggling of people, in accordance with international law,” was another one of the listed suggestions.

The commission said that although the migration crisis in the Mediterranean had put the spotlight on immediate needs, it had also revealed that our collective EU migration policy has fallen short. It added that the European Agenda on Migration develops President Juncker's political guidelines into a set of mutually coherent and reinforcing initiatives, based around four pillars, to manage migration better in all its aspects.

The four pillars of the new Agenda on Migration are reducing the incentives for irregular migration, border management to save lives and secure external borders, strengthening Europe's duty to protect: a strong common asylum policy with a priority to ensure a full and coherent implementation of the Common European Asylum System as well as a new policy on legal migration with a focus on maintaining a Europe in demographic decline as an attractive destination for migrants.

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