The term ‘flexible solidarity’ for migration is still not defined – Minister Carmelo Abela
The term ‘flexible solidarity’ is still not defined, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said yesterday.
He was holding a press conference with EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“When it comes to the term ‘flexible solidarity’ as a policy alternative to the corrective allocation mechanism as set out by the Commission in the Dublin proposals, this is open to different interpretations. We need to hear and learn more about this term. The Maltese Presidency will strive to seek a compromise which is politically acceptable but also guarantees effective solidarity. In my opinion, for solidarity to be effective, it cannot be flexible, certainly not in an a la carte way” Minister Abela said.
He explained that by flexibility, some are saying it means a pick and choose approach such as giving funds instead of relocation, others saying about giving assets. We need to discuss the definition with member states, he said.
Minister Abela said that in order for agreement to be found on migration, then one fundamental word is necessary, and this is “solidarity”.
“The Maltese Presidency will strive to make progress on the various aspects of migration, including on the common EU asylum system, border control, returns and readmission and tackling migrant smuggling,” he said.
“We must give due importance to the Central Mediterranean Route. The number of migrant deaths at sea between Italy and Libya this year is over 4,200.”
Turning to the Dublin regulations, he said that a system must be built that can withstand future challenges, where solidarity kicks in efficiently and where responsibility is shared.”
Commissioner Avramopoulos also gave his two-cents on the term ‘flexible solidarity’.
“The term solidarity does not need interpretation. Can you imagine a flexible, or selective marriage? It doesn’t work, and the same applies with solidarity. This is the moment for member states to prove what they really mean when they talk about solidarity. Solidarity and responsibility are not only moral values, but they are the legal principles binding all member states. These terms are explicitly stated in the founding principles in the union,” he said.
The Commissioner spoke of work which needs to be done on effective security. “We need to ensure that all our systems are interconnected to ensure the right level of security for the citizens of the EU”.