Earlier today, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg had a bilateral meeting with the Minister of State for Europe Laurence Boone in Malta.
During this meeting, the very good relationship between Malta and France, which dates back several years was noted, and how it has strong potential to continue to improve, particularly in light of the Mediterranean region. Minister Ian Borg repeated his message on the need for more cooperation to strengthen the region.
A topic which was at the top of the discussion was that of immigration, where Malta reiterated the importance of the European Union to urgently take strong decisions to implement the joint action plan 'Valletta' and thus the much-needed reform. Ian Borg claimed that the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) remains crucial. He further said that a permanent and predictable relocation mechanism remains crucial for our country and other frontline Member States in particular, whilst also thanking France for the recent assistance it provided Malta.
Cooperation on a multilateral basis was also discussed, in particular at the level of the European Union and also on the United Nations Security Council as the only two EU countries on this very important Council, particularly during present living times.
From her end, French Minister Boone maintained that immigration is not a subject that should be addressed individually in the context of one country or another, but as a European issue that must be addressed in a collective and holistic manner. She also congratulated Malta for the work done in the Security Council. With a show of respect, Minister Boone thanked our country for the warm welcome and hospitality she received during this her first visit to Malta.