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Strong impressions from Rome and Valletta

3 May 2010

Last week, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Rome and Valletta, where she met with ministers, parliamentarians, media and civil society to discuss immigration and asylum. Now back in Brussels, she reports on interesting discussions and depressing impressions.

"I visited some of the Maltese migration centres that have been in the limelight recently. It was depressing in many ways. The living conditions are very simple and the people living there are young men and women watching their lives go by as they wait for decisions on where to go next. Malta is a small country playing a key role for people in search for a better future in Europe. That is why we need to make sure that everyone who comes to Europe are treated in a decent manner and in full respect of human rights", said Cecilia Malmström.

Malmström also underlined the importance of giving those that have been granted asylum the possibility to start a new life:

"I had long conversations with Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici on how the Commission can support the Maltese authorities in improving integration and living conditions for these immigrants."

In Rome, Cecilia Malmström visited a rehabilitation centre for torture victims. She also met with Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini and discussed the Commission's proposals on EU harmonised asylum procedures.

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Cecilia Malmström's speech in the Italian Parliament pdf - 75 KB [75 KB]