EU deal on temporary relocation of migrants: only a temporary solution

This week an agreement for the relocation of migrants was reached at the Malta Summit between France, Germany, Italy, Malta and Finland. From what is known of the draft, the agreement only concerns arrivals along the central Mediterranean route and is limited only to migrants rescued at sea by military, commercial ships and NGOs. It is expected that the landing point will no longer be the nearest port, in practice Lampedusa and Valletta, but also other Mediterranean ports with a voluntary rotation mechanism. The most significant aspect is the end of the principle of first entry, foreseen by the Dublin regulation. So it will not be the state of first reception that has to manage the acknowledgements and rejections, but each of the states to which the immigrants are distributed. There are too many obvious limits to this agreement. The most obvious are that it does not change the existing regulatory framework, it does not address the knots of migrants arriving from other routes, it does not address the thorny issue of the EU Libya cooperation Agreement on migration.

It is therefore clear that its only value is timeliness. France and Germany have done the minimum to support the new Commission and the new Italian government, in the emergency, to meet the new President of the European Commission and the new Italian Government. In normal times this Agreement would have received more criticism than support.

SOLIDAR therefore still strongly recommends the following points:

·         To end immediately EU-Libya migration cooperation

·         To strength the efforts to concretely reform the Dublin III regulation as soon as possible

·         To extend to all EU Member States the obligations and responsibilities inherent in migration management.