MEP says EU-African Union Summit will be the 'first step' to addressing immigration

The EU-African Union summit will be the first step to addressing the source of immigration - Miriam Dalli MEP

MEP Miriam Dalli
MEP Miriam Dalli

The resolution approved by the European Parliament pushing for mandatory burden sharing on all EU Member States according to binding quotas should send a clear message to the European Union governments that this is an EU issue, MEP Miriam Dalli said in a press release.

Dalli, who is a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) that focuses specifically on immigration, said that this was a measure that could start addressing the issue of irregular immigration if implemented. 

During a discussion with Vice-President Frans Timmermans on Tuesday evening, Dalli stressed that Member States’ governments need to stop promising voluntary relocation programmes because reality has shown that “voluntary” programmes rarely work.

 Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Dalli called for a long-term solution that would address problems in African countries – many of which also act as countries of origin for the majority of migrants that arrive on Europe's shores. 

Dalli referred to the EU-African Union summit that will be held in Malta later on this year, as an opportunity that can act as the first step after a number of years towards addressing the source of the problem, but a lot more needs to be done.

In an opening statement, Dalli chose to give a name to the unknown toddler whose photograph shocked the world after he drowned off the Libyan coast in one of the two tragedies which left over 1,000 persons crossing the Mediterranean dead earlier on this month.

 "That two-year-old boy who was well-dressed ready to embark on a journey towards a better future and whose lifeless body found itself washed up on a Libyan shore, could have easily been called Omar. I prefer to give him a name, rather than a number," Dalli said.

 “Above all the EU needs to start addressing the situation in Libya,” Dalli added.  

“It is imperative that immigration is one of the main points highlighted during the UN led peace talks towards forming a national unity government.”

Dalli said that Malta has been facing this problem for years and finally the governments of the other Member States are "waking-up" to this problem. However, she remarked that very few citizens truly believe that the situation might be different this time round and that the EU has the resolve to address this situation.

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