Good afternoon all,
I am optimistic about the outcome of today’s meeting.
I would like warmly thank Minister Michael Farrugia for hosting us in Malta today.
Let me also thank my colleagues the Ministers from Finland, Italy, Germany and France here today for their efforts and willingness to find workable, practical solutions in order to respond together in a spirit of solidarity to the migratory challenges.
We all agree that the current ad-hoc approach consisting of the Commission coordinating solidarity efforts each time a vessel with migrants is at sea is simply not sustainable.
Today we have made good progress towards a predictable and structural set of arrangements.
The Commission, our Agencies - and myself personally - will continue to provide active support, operationally, financially and politically.
I now call on all Member States to join us in our work to establish a more predictable solidarity mechanism and to participate in solidarity efforts. I will raise this will all my colleagues at the Home Affairs Council early next month. This is a responsibility for all of us and we need to address it collectively.
In the meantime, we continue all our work and efforts to support all Member States under pressure on all migratory routes in the Mediterranean.
I remain convinced that a structural and permanent solution, embedded in the Common European Asylum System, remains necessary and is the only viable solution in the medium term. We will continue to work hand in hand with Member States and with the European Parliament to this end.