On the first of January Malta took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Slovakia. The Republic of Malta set out its priorities and migration is a key priority.

Malta has set out to ensure that migration remains at the top of the political agenda and introduce concrete objectives including strengthening and streamlining of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), revising the Dublin Regulation, transforming the European Asylum Support Office, effectively implementing the relocation system and adopting a holistic approach to the internal and external aspect of migration.

This holistic approach will according to the Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat resemble the EU-Turkey deal. The questionable legality of the EU-Turkey deal has previously been commented by ECRE. Maltese Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have confirmed this approach. Even though implementing the relocation system is one of the concrete objectives mentioned by the presidency, Malta’s Ambassador to Poland, Natasha Meli Daudey, hinted that some countries would not have to participate in the relocation system if they contribute in a different way.

(ECRE intends to work closely with the Maltese presidency on the reform of CEAS and has recently published comments on the proposals.)

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