Maltese Emigrants' Commission came into being in 1950 when an exodus of Maltese was leaving because of unemployment and overpopulation in search of a better future. Meanwhile, the scope of the commission has changed; the Maltese immigration began in 2002, during the Somali civil war and peaked in 2004 when Malta Joined the EU.
This crisis ended abruptly just as the main European crisis was beginning in 2015. Seas around Malta are still bobbing with people fleeing poverty and civil wars, but they don’t sully the islands any longer.
A Maltese opposition leader has alleged that Malta and Italy cut a secret deal in which Malta would surrender oil exploration rights in an offshore area disputed with Italy, while Italy would return the favor by picking up Malta’s share of migrant rescues at sea.
In 2015, a summit about migration was organized and the choice of the place wasn’t at ransom: Valetta Summit on Migration, or Valletta Conference on Migration, took place on 11 and 12 November 2015.
EU Member States, members of the Rabat process and Khartoum, observers from the Rabat process, representatives of the ECOWAS, the UN and many International organizations have been invited to participate in this summit. EU Member States discussed with African leaders the European migrant crisis.
These discussions lead to a “non-Eurocentric” observation: Young migrants are destabilizing old Europe! European leaders offered African countries almost €2bn (£1.8bn) in return for agreeing to the deportation of these dangerous unwanted migrants.
Trust has a fund
This time, the deal wasn’t secret, Trust was the main recommendation and the fund was called TRUST FUND although “There was very little trust between the sides,” diplomats reported. Luckily, Trust could double to €3.6bn in order to reinforce efforts to tackle the EU’s biggest ever migration crisis.Save the Schengen, Save Africa…
EU Trust Fund has been created to support “fragile” African countries, it aims to respond to the challenges of irregular migration and displacement and to contribute to better migration management by implementing livelihood projects for unwanted migrants that would voluntary return to their countries of origin in Africa. Meanwhile, African leaders tried to use the meetings to force Europe to open up more legal channels for their people moving to Europe to what Donald Tusk, the European council president, answered that “Saving Schengen is a race against time”. Indeed, to save mobility within Europe, African mobility should be reduced.
Saving the Schengen doesn’t wait…
Donald Tusk convened another emergency EU summit directly after the African leaders departed. This second meeting was about the mass arrivals of Syrians and Iraqis in Europe via Turkey and the Balkans.
It is important to stress that Turkey has been candidate for EU membership since 1999. Negotiations about the adopting the EU Schengen visa system only started in 2005. Turkey was obliged to harmonize its legislation in areas identified in the EU "Accession Partnership" document.
After the crisis in Syria, Turkey hosts the world’s largest community of Syrians displaced by the ongoing conflict: more than 1.7 million as of mid-March 2015.
The Syrian refugee crisis arose as the Turkish government was in the midst of overhauling its immigration system to meet European standards.
Time was running: 48 hours after the Valetta, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, fled to Antalya to represent the EU at G20 Summit in Turkey, on 15-16 November 2015.
At their meetings with Turkish leaders, EU leaders mainly talked about the EU-Turkey cooperation on the migration and refugee crisis and launched an Action Plan to step up their cooperation on “migration management”. Turkey became a key partner for the European Union.
Indeed, The EU has mobilised €4 billion humanitarian for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. This fund was already trusted and refoulement of migrants was to begin in the shortest time in return. Of course, Ankara negotiated as African leaders, but had more space for action. Turkey appears to have reflected on the enthusiasm of the EU to strike a deal, and realized that if Brussels is that desperate then they might be able to secure their price without having to fulfill their part of the bargain. Inevitably, measures to soften Turkey’s crackdown on minority and opposition groups, working better with Cyprus and introducing biometric security measures on passports won’t be done soon.
Save the Trust, Save the Migrants
The EU was confronted with the arrival in Europe of an unprecedented number of migrants and refugees. They travel for different reasons; they flee conflict, political and economic instability, violations of human rights and poverty.
Those trusted and untrusted deals are supposed to help migrants, respect human rights and restore dignity.
Migrants are being pushed back to African countries; African countries remain impoverished, the standard of living rises in the face of inadequate incomes, corrupt politicians sell the richness of the country to the same EU which refuses to receive migrants but is still happy to receive Uranium and Oil. Organizations receiving funding for communities stabilization are trying to create micro projects unsuited to the context and with no future visibility.
Turkey heaps Syrian migrants who have no future and are rampant in despair: they are trapped in this no-win situation; facing segregation and poverty.
One wonders how a father can risk the life of her son in a dangerous voyage across Libya, how a young girl falls into the first boat to Europe. These are all humans that still have hope in humanity even if their behavior seems suicidal.
After those deals, and knowing the increasing intensity of the xenophobia, one can start to wonder how these people who feel rejected and live a nightmare don’t think about integrating ISIS ?