EU/AFRICA: MALTA PUSHES COUNCIL TO TAKE TOUGHER LINE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

 
FREE EXCERPT

Migration/development tension.

A meeting of member state ambassadors to the EU (COREPER) on November 17 failed to resolve the differences, with Malta digging in its heels, say inside sources. Malta is one of the countries worst affected by irregular flows of migrants crossing into Europe from Africa via the Mediterranean. While all member states want to improve cooperation with migrants' countries of origin and transit, there are deep divisions over how much of the 'carrot' and how much of the 'stick' to use. Although the wording of the conclusions touted by Malta makes no explicit link between development aid and migration cooperation, even an implicit hint of such a link has ruffled the feathers of some of its EU partners.

The debate is reminiscent of the row between EU leaders at the Seville European Council in June 2002 when Germany and the United Kingdom were being similarly robust but France and Sweden ultimately succeeded in softening the language. Ultimately, the EU heads of state and government decided that Council could "adopt measures and positions under the common foreign and security policy and other EU policies, while honouring the Union's contractual commitments but not jeopardising development co-operation objectives". While some thought the issue to have been settled then, the recent upsurge in illegal immigration and the resulting humanitarian crises in places like Ceuta, Melilla and Lampedusa...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL