The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Migration: Malta carrying 'disproportionate' burden - Minister Bartolo

Saturday, 4 December 2021, 12:11 Last update: about 3 months ago
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Malta is carrying a disproportionate burden, being on the forefront of managing irregular migration along the Central MediterraneanMinister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo said.

He was addressing the 2021 Mediterranean Dialogues in Rome during the session ‘Dealing with migration: Revitalizing partnerships in a post-pandemic world’. Other speakers included the Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Al Mangoush; António Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and Michael Spindelegger, Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development;

Minister Bartolo  said that not managing migration well, attitudes towards people on the move will continue to harden leading to more restrictive migration policies. Minister Bartolo also reiterated the need to have secure borders and to fight human traffickers in sending, transit and destination countries.

Minister Bartolo stressed on the need for Europe and Africa to work together as equal partners to create a better life for the young people of the Southern shores of the Mediterranean, stating that “a win-win approach to changing this structural imbalance and dependency would be if Europe and Africa both take nearshoring seriously and bring to the region supply chains and create Euro-African regional value chains to the benefit of both continents”. This would entail the transferring of business operations closer to the Mediterranean, making supply chains more responsive and efficient, and in the process creating more jobs in the region.

The Mediterranean Dialogues were held in Rome, Italy, and is an annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) in Rome with the aim of addressing shared challenges, engaging prominent leaders of Mediterranean governments, business, civil society, media and academia. The session on migration focused on the need to have a better migration governance, as despite the pandemic, at least 130,000 irregular migrants have attempted to reach the Northern shore of the Mediterranean in the past twelve months.

Minister Evarist Bartolo also had a bilateral meeting with the Director General of the IOM, in which further ways of collaboration where discussed. He was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Christopher Cutajar.


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