Malta – Reception of migrants - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (09.01.19)

Q : Will France join with other European countries in taking in some of the 49 migrants who have been stuck for more than two weeks off the coast of Malta on two German NGO vessels? Why hasn’t an agreement been reached yet to let them disembark?

A : A European solution has been found for the more than 200 migrants who were recently rescued off the coast of Malta or who are on board the Sea Watch 3 and the Professor-Albrecht-Penck. These vessels will dock in Malta and their passengers will be divided among several European countries: France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Romania. Representatives of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) will arrive in Malta within the next few days.

France championed this collective solution and allowed for it to be put in place based on the principles it staunchly advocates: the docking of vessels in the closest safe port, and solidarity in welcoming people in need of protection.

It remains vital to establish, at the European level, a sustainable mechanism in line with these principles of responsibility and solidarity, while stepping up the fight against human trafficking and smugglers. France and Germany have jointly made new proposals to move forward on revising the Dublin Regulation.