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EP president promises migration support in meeting with PN MEPs

Pledges more pressure to bring Caruana Galizia's killers to justice

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani emphasised the European Parliament’s support for Maltese people on migration when he met Nationalist MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech.

"Malta is a frontier country for migration flows from Africa. We cannot leave Malta, or Italy or Greece alone in facing migration challenges. We are working for a long-term solution, involving the stabilisation of Libya, which I just visited this week, and agreements with transit countries like Niger, which I will be visiting also next week to promote a concrete dialogue and engagement with Africa," Mr Tajani said.

The Maltese MEPs highlighted concerns with the Dublin Regulation reform still not agreed to by governments in the European Council and underscored the need for a European approach to migration.

On this, President Tajani said: "Reinforcing our external borders and investing in Africa are imperative for a long-term solution to migration. In the short term however, we must see that no country is subject to migration pressures alone. It is simply unthinkable for us to leave Malta alone in this regard. We must have a sustainable and fair distribution of migrants. Also thanks to the strong role played by the Maltese members, we have already voted in November last year for a reform of the Dublin Regulation which would reassure the Maltese citizens with an automatic distribution mechanism."

Concerns over EU budget for Malta

The  MEPs also pointed out the challenge of the forthcoming EU budget negotiations.

The package proposed by the Commission in May for the next seven-year period would see an important reduction of cohesion funds, which are the lion's share of Malta's allocation.

Mr Tajani declared that the European Parliament is adamant in not slowing down European cohesion policy, which has accounted for much progress in several member states including Malta.

Caruana Galizia investigation

President Tajani enquired on progress in the investigation of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

“We will continue to put  pressure on the Maltese authorities to ensure that the masterminds of Caruana Galizia’s murder are identified and brought to justice. The murder of a journalist is an attempt to freedom of expression itself. It's an attempt on our most important values of democracy. If impunity reigns after that, then the rule of law itself is put into question."

 

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