This afternoon, PM Joseph Muscat will be meeting with six other leaders from EU member states whose countries are also in the Mediterranean. On the eve of this summit, PM Muscat and Italian Deputy PM and Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini, issued a joint statement between the two Governments in which they agreed that immigration should be placed on the agenda of today’s meeting.
Today Muscat will be meeting with French President, Emmanuel Macron, Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Portugal’s PM Antonio Costa
These seven countries came together to form what is known as the EUMed7 in 2013 in order to address themes of common interest in the Mediterrnean region. Over the last three years, the leaders have met in five different countries. On today’s agenda, which is the first time that the EUMed7 is meeting in Malta, the leaders will discuss themes such as migration and security in the region, Brexit, the Euro zone, a secure energy supply and social rights.
The meeting will be held at Castille with the leaders continuing their talks during a lunch at the President’s Palace. The main appointments of this summit will be transmitted live on Television Malta from 4 pm onwards.
Meanwhile, on the eve of the summit Italian Minister Matteo Salvini and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat discussed the challenges of irregular immigration over the phone..
A statement issued by the Italian Government said that the discussion was held in order to strengthen the common strategy of the two countries where human trafficking and fatalities at sea are concerned.
In particular, they also discussed the way in which Maltese and Italian authorities can continue their collaboration to help Libyan authorities strengthen their capacities and rescue operations as well as the control of their borders.
It was also re-affirmed that there is a need for a new European season which would be able to give concrete and tangible replies, including a plan to stop the departure of immigrants from Libya.
It was stated that this is why Malta and Italy have an agreement to work with the countries of origin of these immigrants as well as the countries they travel from, with the aim of addressing the problems which lead to migration, so that irregular immigrants can be repatriated.
The Italian Government said that the two sides hope that other European countries in the Mediterranean will agree with their positions and be able to convey them at EU level, with the aim of influencing the next work to be done by the European Commission.