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Malta Migration Meeting: 'Solidarity a la carte is not workable'

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Malta Migration Meeting: 'Solidarity a la carte is not workable'
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DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI
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Italy, Malta, France and Germany try to respond to the emergency in the Mediterranean. Their interior ministers gathered in the Maltese capital, Valletta for an informal summit. The aim is to draft an agreement for the distribution of asylum seekers rescued at sea.

Hopes and concerns surround the interior ministers meeting of France, Germany, Italy and Malta, who gathered in Valletta to seal a deal on the automatic distribution of asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean. Berlin and Paris are already available to welcome a quarter of people rescued at sea and hope that other EU Member States will join in

"What is very important to me is that, after years of fighting for asylum legislation in Europe, we move forward a bit. And the first step would be an agreement on how we will deal with emergency rescue operations at sea," Horst Seehofer, German Interior Minister.

The closure of the ports by the previous Italian government and the criminalization of NGO activities - that even led to the arrest of the German captain of Sea watch 3 Carola Rackete- had created tensions across Europe. Now there is room for dialogue with the new pro-European government in Rome. But only for a temporary solution.

"One can wonder, but only wonder why only countries such as Germany and France take that responsibility. It should be a responsibility of all the European Union member states to participate in a distribution of asylum seekers and refugees. So, solidarity a la carte is not something that can be workable in a European Union based on the principle of fair sharing responsibility among all the member states in Schengen," says Sergio Carrera, from CEPS think tank.

The proposal focuses only on the emergency cases. It is now up to the new European Commission to present a new pact on migration and asylum.

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