Valletta, Sept 23 (AFP/APP):Interior ministers from four EU countries meet Monday in Malta to try to work out an automatic system to determine which countries will welcome migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean.
The ministers from France, Germany, Italy and Malta hope to end the long, drawn-out negotiations that have seen vulnerable asylum seekers including babies stranded at sea, sometimes for weeks.
They take place ahead of a European summit in October in Luxembourg.
The mooted automatic distribution system would only be a temporary solution until the current system, the “Dublin regulation”, can be revised.
Its critics have long argued that it places an unfair burden on the Mediterranean frontier countries Italy, Malta, Greece and Spain.
Italy’s new, pro-EU government has moved quickly to turn the page on the anti-migrant policies pursued by former far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini, who closed the ports to those rescued.
After a meeting last week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron both called for a reform of Europe’s “ineffective” policy.
Countries that did not volunteer to take migrants should face financial penalties, they argued.