MEP Mizzi slams Latvian presidency for ignoring migration issues on their program

MEP Marlene Mizzi criticizes the Latvian presidency for refusing to deal with urgent issues affecting the southern Mediterranean region

MEP Marlene Mizzi slams Latvian presidency for ignoring migration issues in southern Mediterranean states in their program
MEP Marlene Mizzi slams Latvian presidency for ignoring migration issues in southern Mediterranean states in their program

During a debate in the European Parliament, labour MEP Marlene Mizzi criticised the Latvian Presidency for failing to address major political, security and environmental challenges in the southern neighbourhood in their programme. “These challenges directly affect and threaten countries like Malta, Italy and Greece,” said Mizzi.

The Latvian Prime minister Ms. Laimdota Straujuma presented the MEPs with the working programme for the Latvian presidency, during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning. The Latvian presidency started on the 1st of January and it took over the rotating EU Presidency from Italy for the next 6 months.

Marlene Mizzi expressed her disappointed with the presidency’s decision to dedicate its resources mainly to Europe's eastern partners disregarding the importance of the southern Mediterranean region and irregular migration flows which plague the region.

“Did the Latvian presidency forget the dilemmas Europe is facing at the moment in relation to its neighbouring countries in the southern Mediterranean region, where the list of current crises, including Libya, Egypt and Syria will continue growing this year?” said Mizzi.

Mizzi continued by asking for clear answers from the Latvian Prime Minister on the revision of operation Triton in the Mediterranean, and whether it would be prolonged. She also asked about the resources that would be used should this operation be prolonged.

Mizzi asked about whether a re-assessment of Frontex, a revision of the border management cooperation, and projects with the horn of Africa countries would be in order. Mizzi also asked about the upcoming Commission proposal for “new smart borders”.

“We need to build upon the momentum generated under the Italian presidency and provide real solutions and concrete answers to the threats and challenges currently fuelling people's fears.”

“We need to understand that this is not just a crisis for Mediterranean countries, but one that affects the whole of Europe. I hope that finally we can see some real measures implementing fair sharing of responsibility when it comes to irregular migration, but I fear this will remain nothing but fancy words in the programme of the Latvian Presidency,” said Mizzi.

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