The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Working together remains the best course of action – Minister Michael Farrugia

Tuesday, 25 July 2017, 16:56 Last update: about 8 years ago

During the second meeting of the Interior Ministers of central Mediterranean countries in Tunis, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia said that the declaration adopted seeks to prevent migrant smuggling and trafficking, thereby also preventing abuse and the risk of loss of life in the desert and at sea.

The declaration that was jointly agreed upon during the meeting was adopted to reinforce cooperation in the field of border management, prevent and combat irregular migration, trafficking of migrants, and smuggling of human beings, as well as todismantle criminal networks.


"The benefits of such a course of action is that of tackling migration comprehensively, and of promoting legal and well-managed migration, whilst simultaneously curbing irregular migration. The objective should be the regulation of migration by respective competent authorities," said the Minister.

Minister Farrugia said that although several initiatives were embarked upon over the years by Europe and North Africa, it is a fact that central Mediterranean countries continue to face situations that can only be described as less than acceptable. It isstill unacceptable for migrant smugglers and traffickers to be abusing persons who seek a way into Europe. This is not just a legislative or an international relations matter, but also a moral duty, he stated. 

The Minister pointed out that the declaration adopted seeks to address this situation, in particular by bolstering cooperation between respective state authorities, so that illegal migrants will be returned to their countries of origin. 

"I remain convinced that all of us working together remains the best course of action. It is important that on such matters of common concern, all interested parties are fully in agreement, and that a way forward is based on a common understanding of principles and actions to be taken. We already have a successful example of such a process-the Valletta Declaration and Joint Action Plan of 2015. Only through mutual cooperation, and total agreement, can we obtain the results we seek", stated MinisterFarrugia.

The Minister also made reference to Malta's contributions in relation to relocation, the Trust Fund for Africa, and the Joint Valletta Action Plan, where projects have almost been finalised. He mentioned Malta's participation in Joint Operation Triton, EU Navformed Operation Sophia, and the Seahorse Mediterranean project. He also emphasised that this effort was being done despite the persistently high number of asylum applications in Malta.

The Interior Ministers of Germany, Algeria, Austria, Egypt, France, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Chad, Tunisia, the  EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, as well as the Minister of Interior of Estonia-currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union-attended the meeting.

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