Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said before the informal meeting of the heads of state or government of the European Union in Valletta that the European leaders must support Italy to find a solution to reduce the Central Mediterranean migration flows.
According to Ratas, the topic of migration has been of key political importance over the past years. “Europe has made significant progress in the management of migration flows coming from the Western Balkans. Although the situation is different, I hope that we reach decisions today that help to mitigate the difficult situation in the Central Mediterranean area, and particularly in Italy,” Prime Minister Ratas said.
The Prime Minister welcomed the fact that Italy and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding on migration, which acts as the basis for the establishment of a joint committee to better organise support for the Libyan Coast Guard and refugee centres. Also, enhanced cooperation is planned in the region to tackle the root causes of migration.
“We must reduce illegal migration, create better options on the spot, and spare lives, but also improve the implementation of the current decisions and options to return persons who are staying illegally in the European Union,” Ratas commented on the migration discussions.
According to the Prime Minister, the maintenance of solidarity and determination between 27 Member States is of critical importance in the light of the European Union’s future.
“I hope that we reconfirm our common desire to stick together and make efforts for our future in Rome at the end of March. This is the only way to find solutions for today’s security and economic issues, as well as future challenges, be it maintaining the transatlantic relationship, globalisation, a rapid development of technology or inequality,” Ratas emphasised.