“The EU can no longer leave Malta and Italy by themselves” – PM during Summit Med 7
Prime Minister Robert Abela said that European countries can no longer keep facing the immigration crisis, boat by boat. He added that the EU can no longer leave Malta and Italy by themselves.
Dr Abela was speaking during a joint press conference with leaders of southern EU member states during the Summit Med 7 organised by the French Presidency on the island of Corsica.
The Maltese PM added that this issue is not being given the importance it deserves on the European agenda and although he recognises the assistance which some countries are giving, the situation cannot continue where there are frequent cases of immigrants who are allowed to enter on boats in the Central Mediterranean, often because of a lack of agreement.
“The pressures which exist for migration routes in the Central Mediterranean have been increasing over the years, however we cannot keep facing this crisis alone.”
Dr Abela pointed out that the EU has often issued measures concerning immigration, however when they come to the point of the implementation phase, in the fight against criminal rings which are organising illegal immigration of various peoples, nothing much is done.
The PM mentioned the importance of Libya and the African continent in the context of immigration, as a country from where many immigrants depart.
“The Mediterranean Sea is the only thing which divides the EU from one continent to the other and therefore there is a need for cooperation and close collaboration not only for the security of EU countries, but for peace, economic development and the prosperity of the region.”
Dr Abela added that the situation in Libya is of great importance and mentioned how Malta is serving as a bridge to create dialogue between Libyans.
The PM also referred to what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean and expressed his solidarity with the Greeks and Cypriots. He said that Malta is monitoring the situation in this part of the Mediterranean, however Malta is a neutral country and the sovereignty of countries should be respected based on laws.
During the press conference the leaders of France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal also made speeches.
The Prime Minister attends EU Southern countries Summit