Automatic relocation of irregular migrants isn’t a permanent solution – Bartolo

Minister Bartolo stressed that the EU must work hand in hand with Africa to address the root of the problem.

DOI - Clifton Fenech

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Minister for European Affairs Evarist Bartolo and French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed that there is a need for an automatic relocation mechanism in terms of irregular migration. However, Bartolo stressed that this does not stop migrants from leaving their country. which is why the European Union (EU) must work hand in hand with Africa to address the root of the problem.

The two Ministers met to discuss Libya, the situation in the Mediterranean and irregular migration. In the presence of Minister Byron Camilleri and Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, the two sides discussed the automatic relocation mechanism for the EU, while concluding that the heart of the matter is ultimately addressing the root of the problem.

On irregular migration, Minister Bartolo also added that the southern European border is fully exposed to the abuse of human smugglers in the central Mediterranean, with only two vessels at the Libyan Coast Guard’s disposal to protect its border. In this context, he argued that the European Union should do more to protect its borders because, without security and stability in the Mediterranean, one cannot have security and stability in Europe.

The two Minister both agreed on the priority for a ceasefire in Libya, and on the need to continue the political process that should result in lasting solutions for peace and stability. They also agreed that the future of Libya should be determined by the Libyans themselves, who should be free to translate the wealth that has endowed the country into an economic recovery and a decent quality of life for all Libyans.