VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Lower than every week after a deadly migrant shipwreck off Italy, 5 European Union countries on the Mediterranean Sea pushed again Saturday in opposition to their northern neighbors for not accepting asylum-seekers underneath a voluntary relocation initiative.
The ministers accountable for migration coverage in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain met in Malta’s capital, Valletta, forward of an EU ministerial assembly in Brussels subsequent week on migration. The countries began working collectively because the MED 5 in 2021 to confront the challenges of illegal migration.
Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi advised reporters that simply 1% of the migrants who arrived in these front-line nations alongside the EU’s southern border final yr had been taken in by different EU members underneath a voluntary relocation program.
“We can not proceed to speak about the necessity to impose extra duty on front-line member states, if there may be not an equally prescriptive and necessary solidarity mechanism towards the countries of first reception,’’ Mitarachi mentioned.
Spain’s inside minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gomez, mentioned the present course of is “too gradual, too selective, with too few outcomes and too little predictability.” He pledged to provide you with a simpler mechanism when Spain holds the EU’s rotating presidency within the second half of 2023.
The ministers additionally emphasised the necessity to work with the countries the place many migrants are initially from and journey by way of. Such measures may embrace giving monetary support to countries of origin or transit to stem the flows to Europe, Malta’s residence affairs minister, Byron Camillieri, mentioned.
The officers additional referred to as for the EU border company Frontex to deploy extra assets and for stepping up the tempo of returning individuals who don’t qualify for asylum.
“For the credibility of the asylum system, it’s crucial that we distinguish between these which might be entitled to worldwide safety based on the regulation, and people who are usually not,’’ Mitarachi mentioned. “And those that are usually not ought to be returned with security and dignity to the nation of origin.
In line with the U.N. refugee company, some 160,100 migrants arrived in Europe by way of the Mediterranean Sea final yr, 30% greater than in 2021. Hundreds of individuals are believed to have died making an attempt to cross the ocean to Europe lately.
At the very least 70 migrants died after a wood boat that set out from Turkey crashed on a shoal off the southern Italian coast, in Calabria, early final Sunday.
Colleen Barry contributed from Milan.
Comply with AP’s protection of world migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration