27 March 2017
Valetta – ESI at conference on EU migration policy and meetings on "The Malta Plan"
Gerald Knaus. Photo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
Gerald Knaus. Photo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in a conference organised by the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Under the title "EU Migration Partnership Revisited" experts from countries of the wider Southern Mediterranean and the EU met to review the existing instruments of EU migration policy, to discuss new forms and formats for dialogue as well as to provide recommendations for potential adjustments. Gerald spoke at the panel "Valletta and Beyond – Progress and Remaining Challenges". Questions discussed were how EU migration policy has developed since Valletta, what new initiatives have been launched since, and what concrete measures have been implemented? What has worked – and what has not?

Gerald also had meeting swith senior officials of the Maltese foreign and interior ministries, at the Dutch embassy, as well as with the refugee relief organisation MOAS to present ESI's policy proposal "The Malta Plan" which argues that the European Union urgently needs a credible European policy on asylum and border management which combines control of external sea borders with respect for international refugee law. It must respect the ethical norm of the rule of rescue: do not push individuals in need into danger. This is the heart of the UN Refugee Convention (non-refoulement). The current EU presidency (Malta) should build consensus for a concrete proposal before this summer. A new system should replace the current Dublin procedures whose reform is debated in the EU with little prospect for a successful outcome.

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Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com