Tuesday, 25 January 2011
No mention of EASO in EP President's address to Malta Parliament
Yesterday H.E. Professor Jerzy Buzek, current President of the European Parliament, addressed the Maltese Parliament in Valletta (Malta) as one of the items on his two-day visit to our island. Immigration and asylum obviously featured in his address, yet these were bundled together as “illegal immigration”. Buzek reiterated the EP’s support of Malta’s challenges, highlighting that these challenges are in fact European ones that ought to be approached as a “common responsibility”. As expected, emphasis was put on a commitment to a system of compulsory intra-EU responsibility-sharing...regrettably termed “burden-sharing”, a phrase for which I have a particular dislike. Frontex was also referred to.
Of course the list of possible issues to talk about in such a brief speech was probably rather long, but nonetheless I find it surprising that Buzek failed to even mention EASO in the country that will be hosting it once it becomes operational. Not so much by way of a thank you of course, but more as an acknowledgement of the strong asylum component of the flows of persons entering the EU, particularly from the southern border, and that EASO’s location in Malta will remain a constant reminder of this factor and of its implications.
The full address may be found here (site).