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Fico leaves for Malta for a summit on migration crisis

SLOVAK Prime Minister Robert Fico left the country on November 11 for a two-day summit to be attended by European Union (EU) leaders in Valletta (Malta).

Prime Minister Robert Fico (Source: Sme)

The summit begins on that day with a meeting of EU-member states and representatives of 35 African countries to discuss cooperation and joint solutions to the migration crisis. It will focus on five particular areas – addressing the underlying causes of migration; establishing and managing legal migration channels; strengthening the protection of migrants and asylum seekers; combatting the trafficking and exploitation of migrants, and improving cooperation on repatriating migrants whose asylum claims are rejected. 

Many migrants are travelling to Europe via the northern coast of Africa, where there are many groups of traffickers and smugglers, especially in Libya, the most unstable country in the north. The majority of these are refugees from the conflict-torn Middle East, but people from various African countries are also fleeing from poverty and armed conflicts.

The leaders will discuss possible agreements on repatriating rejected asylum seekers and better state management of the asylum seeking process. Provisions concerning the return of irregular migrants to their countries of origin are considered to be the key to strengthening trust in EU policies on international protection and legal migration. Representatives of the African countries are expected to ask for more financial resources to be channelled from EU-member states to humanitarian agencies of the United Nations, the TASR newswire wrote.

The EU is focused on improving the management of legal migration flows, while in the case of labour force migration it would like to revisit a directive on so-called blue cards for highly qualified workers and to develop new legal regulations for seasonal workers.   

An informal meeting of EU prime ministers and presidents summoned by European Council President Donald Tusk will take place on November 12. The prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) will meet prior to this informal meeting.

The aim of the summit is to evaluate current measures is to resolve the migration crisis, improve cooperation with third countries, including Turkey, strengthen the capacity for admitting refugees and for protecting the EU’s external borders.

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Topic: Migration crisis


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