Five Mediterranean countries call for more EU solidarity on migration

SOS Mediterranee/ Anthony Jea A boat transporting migrants 34 nautic miles far from Libyan coasts. (FILE).

Interior ministers of five European Union (EU) Mediterranean countries on Saturday called for more EU solidarity on migration and more efforts to prevent irregular migration.

At the end of the so-called “Med 5” ministerial-level meeting held in Malta’s capital Valletta on Friday and Saturday, ministers of Malta, Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus signed a joint declaration.

The meeting was held just days after a deadly migrant shipwreck off Italy. At least 64 migrants died on Feb. 26 when their boat hit rocks near the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria.

The five ministers agreed that more work needs to be done at a European level to address the root causes of migration and prevent irregular migration, according to the joint declaration released by the Maltese Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality.

They reaffirmed their position on the need to “strike a balance between (EU) Member States’ responsibilities on the one hand and the need for solidarity on the other,” the joint declaration said.

They also called for more efforts for “the establishment of a permanent and mandatory solidarity mechanism that factors the real needs of frontline Member States and ensures that these needs are fully met through the solidarity contributions.”

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