ITALY-MALTA, MINNITI MEETS ABELA "EXCELLENT COLLABORATION"
On the occasion of a bilateral meeting between the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta, Carmelo Abela, and the newly appointed Italian Minister of Home Affairs, Marco Minniti, priorities on the agenda were the migration crisis and the strengthening of EU internal security. The meeting was held 4 January 2017 in Valletta, and for Minister Abela this was his first bilateral meeting since Malta assumed the Presidency of the EU Council, last 1 January.
After giving a brief overview of the p priorities of the Maltese Presidency to Minister Minniti, Minister Abela stated that, in his capacity as Chairman of the Council’s meetings that gather Home Affairs Ministers, he is aware that the future of the Union will depend on the decisions that member states will take on this topic, to face migration. On his side, Minister Minniti underlined the excellent cooperation between the two countries, which share a common position on several issues. Therefore, Italy considers the Maltese Presidency as highly important for what concerns the sectors of migration and security.
The two ministers agreed on the importance to take important decisions on migrations in Europe in the coming six months. They also noted that Malta, for many years to come, will be the last Mediterranean country to hold the Presidency of the EU. Furthermore, being a border country, Malta is directly hit by migration and by the challenges posed by this phenomenon. Therefore, it is in the perfect condition to understand how big the effort made by Italy is, and how the matter is of paramount importance for Europe.
In recent years, the routes of migration changed and this led to a situation in which the migration issue had to be dealt with by countries that, up to that moment, had never been directly touched by it. “Today, migration does not concern only some Mediterranean countries. It has become a concern for the whole Europe, and all countries have to cooperate to try to find a common solution” the Ministers said.
Minister Abela underlined that Malta will work so that, within the Union, member states will remain committed to the relocation of migrants and to an effective solidarity. At the same time, relations with countries of origin must be reinforced in order to ensure the repatriation of the asylum seekers whose request has been not accepted. In addition, these countries should be helped to increase investments in their own territory so that less people will feel the need of undertake such a dangerous trip towards Europe.
Ministers Abela and Minniti expressed their optimism on the fact that Italy and Malta will commit themselves to further cooperate on such crucial issues.