Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola Proposes Revolutionary Revamp Of Dublin System

'It is difficult not to be angry, when we find ourselves in another summer facing a situation that we warned would come'

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As 629 beleaguered migrants that were caught in the midst of a political spate between Malta and Italy make their way to Spain, Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola has called for a drastic revision to the EU-wide system of rules that regulates what happens to migrants trying to enter the European Union.

"We must reform our Dublin system to one that balances responsibility with solidarity. We need to ensure that our borders are secure and our coastguards have all the resources they need. We must break traffickers’ models. We must draw distinctions between those in need of protection and those seeking work. Those who need protection must be given it but equally those who do not must be returned - and quickly," she said in a speech given earlier today.

While acknowledging that the EU's migration and borders budget had been tripled, she also called on the Union to think outside the box and consider a new method of processing migrants.

"We need to look seriously into having EU-run disembarkation locations in safe third countries outside the Union, with EU standards, where anyone saved from the dark sea can be disembarked immediately, rescued, security vetted, processed in full recognition of their rights - by EASO for example - and either returned or resettled. We have the money to do it and we must find the will to do it," she said.

Dr Metsola called on the Council of Europe to stop allowing Europe's "strongmen" from using innocent lives to prop up their agenda

"It is difficult not to be angry, when we find ourselves in another summer facing a situation that we warned would come. It is difficult not to be angry, when we know that we can introduce laws on plastics and litter, we can end roaming, even reform agriculture, but when it comes to migration Prime Ministers remain stuck," she said.

"Our message to the Council must be clear: leave no space for more raised fists and banging on tables, no more victorious hashtags," she continued. "No more children born on the high seas. No more lives used to prop up the wannabe strongmen of Europe. Things must change."

In the longer term, she suggested a move from aid to investment for African states involved in the migration crisis with the EU, and hoped for investment that would allow for education and entrepreneurship to flourish.

She urged Europe to be more compassionate and united

"Let’s create a Union where Italy, Malta, Spain or Greece do not feel left alone to manage this. A system where desperate people in need of protection have a real chance. Where children can grow up to a future without fear," she said.

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Her comments come mere hours after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat ruled out any revision of the Dublin system

Replying to questions outside a press conference in Mosta Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister said that they needed to evaluate the Italian government’s change in policy but didn't think Europe would agree to a revision of the Dublin system.

“I don’t think its plausible and not because of what happened last week or next week. It hasn’t been the case because of the divide, mostly between east and west in the way we envisage migration policy," he said.

What do you think of Roberta Metsola's proposal?

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at johnathan@lovinmalta.com.

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