Malta and France want bold decisions on migration

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

Malta and France have called on the European Union (EU) to take bold decisions on migration, which they consider an issue that must be addressed by the bloc collectively.

The call was made during a meeting last week between Malta’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg and France’s Minister of State for Europe Laurence Boone.

In a statement, Malta’s government said that migration topped the meeting’s agenda, with Borg reiterating the importance of the EU urgently taking strong decisions to implement the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP) and the much-needed reforms.

Signed by EU leaders in November 2015 during a special summit on migration, the JVAP aims to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, enhance cooperation on legal migration and mobility, reinforce the protection of migrants and asylum seekers, and prevent and fight irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

Borg said that the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and a “permanent and predictable relocation mechanism” remained crucial for Malta and the other frontline EU member states in particular.

Boone said that immigration was not a subject that should be addressed individually in the context of one country or another but as a European issue that must be addressed in a collective and holistic manner. ■

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