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Jacques Barrot

Migration: Jacques Barrot calls for further help to Malta

Jacques Barrot 22%

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EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot has urged the European Commission to increase its aid to Malta in view of the problem of illegal migration.  According to the information note prepared by Mr Barrot’s cabinet, ‘due to its small size and population density’ Malta is having to carry a disproportionate burden which needs to be addressed by the EU on the ‘short, medium and long term’.

In his note, Commissioner Barrot suggests that the EU executive should consider increasing its financial help to the island and to tackle this issue with a stronger political will. ‘The southern maritime frontier is not only the point of entry for these two countries (Italy and Malta) but for all Europe,’ the note states. ‘Thus a global (EU) response is necessary and a strong political initiative is to be taken and formalised in the short, medium and long term.’

In his note, Commisisoner Barrot also suggests to his colleagues various ways how Malta could be offered added help. On the financial side he suggested the granting of added funds so that Malta could offer better reception facilities for illegal immigrants and asylum seekers and also help with its repatriation efforts. ‘The situation of Malta deserves a particular approach considering its small size and the high population density. Thus the island should be given resources which go beyond the allocations granted.’

Burden sharing initiatives on an EU level are also in Commissioner Barrot’s plans. In this area, he told Commissioners that there is a need to accelerate the Commission initiative to create a new Asylum Agency so that this can start operating as soon as possible and help the overburdened member states cope better with influxes of illegal immigrants. He also said that EU’s joint patrols coordinated by. Frontex should be organised better to increase their effectiveness.


Thursday, 19th March 2009 - 18:06CET



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