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.