Stepping up efforts to sustain progress made in reducing migratory flows imperative - Farrugia
Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia, while addressing the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union in Brussels said, “Effective cooperation on migration with relevant third countries such as Libya and the countries around it remains pivotal. Although the situation in the Central Mediterranean has stabilised, it is imperative to continue in stepping up our efforts to sustain the progress made in reducing migratory flows.”
The meeting’s agenda revolved on the EU’s response to migratory flows in the Central Mediterranean and the constant terror threat in Europe.
Progress on the reform of the Common European Asylum System and particularly the Dublin Regulation must be made. Minister Farrugia continued by emphasising on the need to realign the return of migrants between Member States and the European Border and Coastal Agency. He pledged Malta’s continuous support in tackling the phenomenon by honouring its obligation as a full Member State.
On terrorism, the Minister expressed solidarity on behalf of the Maltese Government to Spain and Finland following terrorist attacks in summer. He stressed on the importance to remain vigilant and resolute in combating terrorism by all available means. He emphasised on the importance of the exchange of information between Member States, as isolation would result in vulnerability. The Minister stated that Europe needs to strike the right balance between security needs and the right to privacy. He called on the European Commission to provide clearer information on the next initiatives it intends to adopt on this matter.
In the margins of the Council, a bilateral meeting was held between Minister Farrugia and the Commissioner responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos on matters pertaining to Malta being an island in a turbulent Mediterranean sea and on closer cooperation between Malta and the Commission.