Swoboda concludes visit to Malta with demand for European migration policy
In an official visit to Valetta, Malta, Hannes Swoboda, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, met with the country's prime minister, the foreign, interior and finance ministers, as well as leading parliamentarians. He also visited an open migration centre, to see how authorities deal with the high influx of refugees and asylum seekers in Malta.
Commenting on the visit, Hannes Swoboda said:
"We need a common European migration policy. It is unfair and unbalanced to let the countries who receive the majority of migrants and asylum seekers deal with this task alone.
"I saw and welcome the commitment of the Maltese government to step up efforts and offer refugees and asylum seekers more than just the most basic services.
"Education and training are key elements for a progressive migration policy. Irrespective of asylum status, the EU should support education and training schemes to help migrants and refugees contribute to the economic and social development of their old or new home countries.
"We must tackle the illegal trafficking of humans – and the risks they face during these voyages. Right now, several hundred people are still missing after their boat went down near Lampedusa, with at least 17 people confirmed dead. To prevent migrants taking such deadly risks, the European Union should inform prospective immigrants of legal immigration options and assess the possibility of processing asylum or temporary protection requests in their home or transit countries by installing 'migration centres' in the countries most concerned.
"Immigration into the EU is a reality and a necessity. But it is the EU's duty to make it a legal, useful and controlled reality, where immigrants do not have to risk their lives in search of a better life."