Minister Dalli at General Affairs Council meeting

Migration should be included among the priorities of the EU for the next five years. This was stated by the Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Dr Helena Dalli while intervening at the General Affairs Council of the European Union, which was held on Tuesday in Brussels.

The Council discussed preparations for the upcoming European Council in June, which will be tasked with setting the course for the European Union for the next five years. This strategic agenda will be used to plan the work of the European Council and also acts as a basis for the work programmes of other EU institutions.

Minister Dalli remarked that for the EU to have a truly comprehensive approach to migration, more effort is needed on the internal dimension, primarily on the reform of the common EU asylum system, which Minister Dalli noted needs to be reformed on the basis of a balance between responsibility and solidarity. She further remarked that the credibility of the EU hinges on tackling this matter effectively, among other things.

Ministers also discussed the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (2021-2027), which should be agreed upon by autumn. Minister Dalli reiterated Malta’s call for a gender mainstreamed budget, and for gender equality to be a horizontal priority and a policy objective across the entire MFF and its funding programmes. Minister Dalli expressed her satisfaction that at least 85% of actions implemented under the Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) should have gender equality as an important objective and that at least 5% would have gender equality and women’s empowerment as a principal objective.

Dr Dalli emphasised the importance of assistance programmes to the EU’s neighbourhood. These assistance programmes should remain as flexible as possible, so the EU can keep on assisting these countries. Peace and stability, engendering human rights and economic development should remain the main focus of these programmes.

The General Affairs Council’s agenda included also a discussion on the recently published European Commission Communication on the rule of law within the European Union.

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