A crucial vote in a European Parliament committee supported the legislative proposals presented by Labour MEP Miriam Dalli which will unblock more than €500 million for measures supporting countries like Malta that are under pressure due to irregular migration.
The vote in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs means that EU funds will be used for actions that support solidarity through measures such as the relocation mechanism and those that strengthen the asylum policy, among others.
“The vote in favour of the proposals on how the fund should operate emphasises the need for real solidarity among all member states on the issue of migration. I am insisting on solidarity because no country, especially those like ours, which are on the frontline, should be left on their own,” Dr Dalli commented after the vote.
“International law binds us with certain responsibilities when there are human beings in distress out at sea. At the same time, we need to ensure solidarity and that relocation between member states takes place.”
At the height of the migratory crisis in 2015, member states had agreed to the relocation of people in need of international protection as well as to the resettlement of Syrian refugees. For this, €843 million were earmarked with payments on these commitments to be made by the end of 2018. However, with the expiration date looming, over €500 million remain unused.
Dalli is currently working on two Regulations related to the management of migration, one pertaining to a fund worth more than €10 billion and the second the proposed regulation that has just been approved by the LIBE committee. The approved regulation lays down that the €500 million are used by member states to also ensure the implementation of relocation measures. “The Maltese Prime Minister has shown how this can be done over the summer months,” Dalli added.
The next step is a vote in plenary to allow the Maltese MEP to negotiate on behalf of the European Parliament during the inter-institutional negotiations.
Original article found on The Malta Independent