11 May 2011
Tomorrow EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström meets with the EU's Interior Ministers at an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council to discuss migration issues in light of recent events in North Africa. In addition to the meeting, a ministerial conference will take place. Commissioner Malmström has invited the ministers with the hope of more countries offering to take in the refugees who are stranded in North Africa and those who have come to the smallest EU Member State Malta and are in need of protection.
- Some thousands of people are in desperate need of assistance and international protection, and the EU should do everything in our power to help them. Some of these people have already come to Europe, but most of them are stranded in Egypt or Tunisia without anywhere to go; Somalis, Eritreans, Sudanese, and others who already once fled from conflicts in their own home countries and now once again have had to flee from the war in Libya. In light of the recent reports on the even more difficult situation in Libya, we are facing an emergency. It is time to give proof of European leadership and European solidarity, says Cecilia Malmström.
Many Member States have already said that they will take in refugees from the region. At the same time, the 2010 Malta pilot project of relocation of people, in other Member States, in need of international protection is now being prolonged due to the disproportionately large number of refugees who have come to Malta recently. Cecilia Malmström is hoping for solidarity also in this case, and urges Member States to show generosity towards both the people in need and with Malta, who due to its small size has difficulties dealing with the situation on its own.
Read more on the Communication on migration which Cecilia Malmström presented last week, and which will be the basis for tomorrow's discussions among the ministers. Read more about tomorrow's Council Meeting and read the Commission's Memo outlining the issues on the agenda.