European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed the outcome of the first part of the informal Malta Summit held in Valetta today.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed the outcome of the first part of the informal Malta Summit held in Valetta today. The 28 EU leaders agreed on a set of concrete actions - proposed by the European Commission last week - to better manage migration flows and save lives on the Central Mediterranean route. The meeting continued with a discussion among the 27 EU leaders on the future of Europe ahead of the 60th anniversary summit in Rome next month.
Leaders agreed on a number of specific and immediate operational measures to improve the situation along the Central Mediterranean route and on the ground in North Africa.
The actions, proposed by the Commission last week and outlined in the Malta Declaration agreed by all 28 EU leaders, focus on saving lives at sea, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers, and improving living conditions and reception capacities in and around Libya. President Juncker highlighted the urgency of the challenge with over 180,000 migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route in 2016. In a presentation to leaders, President Juncker outlined how the Commission would mobilise the necessary funding to help implementing the actions agreed. He also praised the efforts of the Maltese Presidency of the EU and the commitment shown by the European Council: "I have no doubt that everyone will do its part to implement the decisions taken today".
The future of Europe
During the working lunch, EU leaders discussed how Europe should unite and respond to the new challenges and opportunities ahead. Finally, leaders of the EU-27 re-convened for a working session on the future of Europe in order to prepare the Rome Summit on 25 March. To support the reflection ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, the Commission will present a White Paper on the future of Europe shortly after the March European Council and before the Rome Summit - as announced by President Juncker in his State of the Union speech in September 2016.