Wed. May 29th, 2024

VALLETTA, Malta — Lower than every week after a lethal migrant shipwreck off Italy, 5 European Union nations that border the Mediterranean Sea pushed again Saturday in opposition to their northern neighbors for not accepting asylum-seekers underneath a voluntary scheme.

The ministers chargeable 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 nations began working collectively because the MED 5 in 2021 to confront the challenges of unlawful 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’t proceed to speak about the necessity to impose extra duty on front-line member states, if there’s not an equally prescriptive and obligatory solidarity mechanism towards the nations of first reception,’’ Mitarachi mentioned.

Spain’s inside minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, 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 assembly Saturday additionally emphasised the necessity to work with the nations the place many migrants are initially from and journey by. Additionally they argued in favor of 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 can be entitled to worldwide safety in response to the regulation, and those that aren’t,’’ Mitarachi mentioned. “And those that aren’t 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 through the Mediterranean Sea final yr, 30% greater than in 2021. Hundreds of persons are believed to have died making an attempt to cross the ocean to Europe lately.

No less than 69 migrants died after a picket 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.


Observe AP’s protection of world migration at

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