Current Affairs
Malta contributes quarter of a million Euro to fund which curbs illegal immigration

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that EU countries need to contribute in a more proportional way to the fund for African countries (Trust Fund for Africa) which was set up to help the curbing of illegal immigration.

Asked about what was discussed on the first day of the Brussel’s Council on illegal immigration, PM Joseph Muscat said that half of these funds are coming from Italy and Malta is contributing a quarter of a million Euro to this fund. While he said that this may appear to be a small amount, Malta is not the country which is contributing the least amount, despite its small size.

He said that there was consensus that larger countries should give their share, even if they are not being directly affected by this phenomenon.
Asked to comment about the declaration made by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, about the reforms to the Dublin convention when he said that there could be possible agreement between EU Leaders in the first half of 2018,  Dr Muscat said that this was an issue which has been postponed several times and about which there are differences in the position of various leaders. Some of them favour the relocation of immigrants while others insist on effective solidarity with countries which are directly affected.This includes those countries from which immigrants originated; transitory countries such as Libya where monitoring and surveillance programmes are being implemented with the help of European countries, and destination countries such as Italy and Malta.

The Council brings EU leaders together every three months to discuss issues which directly and indirectly affect member states.

The leaders also discussed the progress of the Brexit negotiations for the UK to leave the EU and the developments in the main European digital market. The EU leaders also agreed on the strengthening of the European defence system,  through a new structure which strengthens the co-operation between countries which will be set up by the end of this year, PESCO.

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