Mattarella today in Malta for summit on migrants, borders

'Crossing borders' focuses on security and solidarity

13 September, 13:33

    Mattarella a Malta: iniziata visita di Stato Mattarella a Malta: iniziata visita di Stato

    (by Fabrizio Finzi)

    VALLETTA - Thirteen European heads of State will gather in Malta for a summit on ''Crossing borders'', dedicated to migrant flows and social cohesion in Europe. Italy will be represented by Sergio Mattarella who will be in La Valletta on Wednesday for an official visit. On September 14-15 Valletta will host the thirteenth meeting Arraiolos, an informal gathering of European Union heads of State with no roles in the executive. In total, 13 presidents will be present, with three women for the first time, including host Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
    This will be the largest gathering of the Arraiolos group since then-president of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, in 2003 kicked off the initiative in Arraiolos, inviting the heads of State of Finland, France and Germany to discuss the imminent enlargement of the Union in 2004.
    The major issue now across Europe is migration and informal talks in Malta will enable the 13 presidents to carry out a sort of ''check up'' on the health of the EU over a controversial issue, which concerns Italy closely.
    The theme ''Crossing borders'' concerns migration trends that appear unstoppable and risk creating rifts within a European Union that appears weak and devoid of vital ideals.
    Malta's President Coleiro Preca said the meeting will vie to revitalize Europe's social values, stressing that social responsibility can help those who are marginalized and helpless.
    Two years ago, in July 2015, President Sergio Mattarella explained from Malta how the European Union's decision to distribute part of the Mediterranean's refugees, although on a voluntary basis, was an important step to share a problem that does not only belong to Italy or Malta but to the entire EU. EU interior ministers at the time found an agreement on the redistribution over two years across Europe of just over 32,000 refugees who had arrived in Italy and Greece.
    Many things have happened since then, the number of landings has grown - but not Europe's solidarity.

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