The pledges were made by Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Hungary and Denmark as well as non-members Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Germany alone will take 100 migrants. Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, who attended the conference, said it represented progress, but more remained to be done.
EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in charge of Home Affairs, met with European Union Home Affairs ministers in Brussels on 12th May 2011, on the occasion of an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council dedicated primarily to the situation in the Southern Mediterranean and the presentation of the Commission Communication on Migration of 4th May. The state of play regarding the revision of the FRONTEX Regulation aiming at strengthening the Agency was discussed.
In the afternoon, Commissioner Malmström invited the Home Affairs Ministers to participate in a Conference on the extension of the pilot project for the relocation, to other Member States, of persons who are beneficiaries of international protection in Malta, and on resettlement of refugees stranded in North Africa.
On the 4th of May 2011, the Commission presented its comprehensive strategy for a common EU asylum and migration policy, also in view of the current developments in the Mediterranean.
The Commission took the initiative to gather the Ministers, expecting confirmation of their commitment to engage in further relocation of refugees from Malta and to resettle refugees stranded in North Africa. This would demonstrate the concrete solidarity the EU and its Member States are willing to show in times of need, both internally with its own Member States and to its international partners. The Commission is ready to provide funding for the extension of the pilot project of relocation from Malta, as well as for resettlement from North Africa undertaken on a voluntary basis by Member States.
The implementation of the EU relocation pilot project with Malta has been ongoing for more than a year and it has been a success in demonstrating concrete intra-EU solidarity by the relocation of refugees present in Malta to other Member States. In April, the Council adopted conclusions on solidarity, where it reaffirmed the need for solidarity towards Member States most directly concerned by migratory movements and welcomed the Commission's intention to extend the existing pilot project for the relocation of refugees from Malta.
Several Member States have announced their intention to participate in this project. In its conclusions, the Council also requested the Commission to facilitate resettlement activities undertaken on a voluntary basis by the Member States, also by means of financial support. The resettlement of refugees stranded in North Africa had already been discussed at a meeting on the 25th of March, with the participation of the UNHCR, during which Member States provided information on their commitments to resettle a number of refugees from the region.