European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said the 28-nation bloc needs to beef up surveillance to deter migrants.
“We have to deal with this problem in a humane and at the same time an effective way,” Van Rompuy told reporters today in Valletta, Malta, after talks with the country’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat. “We have to address the root causes of migration such as poverty, conflict and trafficking - and we need more surveillance.”
Malta, located a few hundred kilometres from the North African coast, receives “by far the highest number of asylum requests proportionate to your population and you are often also the first point of entry,” Van Rompuy said.
Van Rompuy and Muscat also discussed the migration issue with a Libyan deputy prime minister. The meeting “set the ball rolling for developments that can be achieved in the next few months,” Muscat said.
Today’s meetings helped to “break new ground” on migration, Muscat said. “We reiterated our point of view, which is basically that we cannot be left alone as a country. There is a sense of abandonment that our citizens feel. We have been assured that Europe does not intend to leave this country alone.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Karl Stagno Navarra in Valletta at firstname.lastname@example.org