Italy and Malta reaffirm cooperation on migration while calling for permanent European solution

The two countries have called for migration to be added to the agenda of the next EU Foreign Affairs Council, insisting that it is no longer an option to proceed on a case by case basis

Italy and Malta have declared their will to cooperate with each other on migration while calling for a European solution to the phenomenon.

The statement comes after another day of rescue operations in the Mediterranean as migrants continue to leave Libya in search of a better life. 65 migrants who were on board the Alan Kurdi and who were denied entry into Italy are expected in Malta by 9pm on Sunday after they were transferred onto an AFM patrol boat. 

A further 58 migrants were rescued by the AFM from within Maltese territorial waters. 

“The foreign ministers of Italy and Malta, Enzo Moavero and Carmelo Abela, referring to further complex situations involving ships with migrants on board, their entry into the territorial waters of the two countries, docking and landing in Italian and Maltese ports, confirm their firm will to cooperate with each other,” the two governments said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The two ministers reiterated however that “it is essential to ensure effective governance of migratory flows to Europe, because it is no longer permissable to proceed on a case by case basis, seeking solutions in emergencies, with growing political difficulties and very serious hardships”.

They called for a “structured permanent mechanism at the European union level” to deal with all the “sensitive issues” concerning migration. This, they said, was not solely limited to procedures regarding the right to asylum.

Rerforming the Dublin regulation was not enough, the ministers said, adding that the EU needed to go further and take measures to protect all migrants.

“In order for an organic discussion to take place, capable of leading EU governments to converge towards a common migration policy, the two ministers ask for a specific agenda item to be added to the agenda of the next EU Foreign Affairs Council in July.”

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