“Malta, as a front-line member state, is pleased at the degree of attention and focus that is being given to the issue of migration, and its various aspects, by citizens within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe"
Parliamentary Secretary Andy Ellul was speaking during the sixth Plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe, an EU-wide citizen-driven consultative exercise which places citizens at the heart of policy discussions aimed at determining the future of the European Union.
The Plenary Session, which took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, between 8th and 9th of April, formed part of the broader Conference process which began in May of 2021, and is due to close by spring 2022.
The Parliamentary Secretary also participated in the Conference's Working Group on Migration, wherein he underlined that while migration is considered one of the EU's most challenging crisis, this is being exacerbated by the current situation in Ukraine.
During the plenary session, Parliamentary Secretary Andy Ellul also recalled that Malta has long-faced challenges of irregular migration and while nationalities vary, challenges are similar.
He underlined the need for tangible and concrete progress on legislative discussions on the reform of the Common European Asylum System in a way that would ensure a balance between responsibility and solidarity.
“We do not have to wait for a crisis to act on a common approach. Member States need assurances that if the need arises, solidarity, including relocation, will be guaranteed," Parliamentary Secretary Ellul stressed.
Concluding his address to the plenary, Parliamentary Secretary Andy Ellul remarked that efforts on the internal dimension should not limit the EU from enhancing cooperation with third countries, and while progress in both areas is crucial, a holistic approach is needed to promote legal migration and reduces irregular pathways.
The next and final Conference Plenary session will be held on 29 and 30 of April, followed by a concluding Conference Event on 9 May, 2022.