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Grande-Marlaska transfers the proposal on migration agreed with the Mediterranean partners at the MED5 summit in Malaga to the EU

Friday 8 October 2021

Fernando Grande-Marlaska has conveyed the position on migration and asylum agreed by the five MED5 countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta) at the summit organised by Spain on 25 September in Malaga to the European Union.

"The Mediterranean bloc needs a new pact that provides effective responses, is balanced, provides added value and guarantees efficient management based on shared responsibility and effective solidarity," said Grande-Marlaska during his participation this Friday in Luxembourg at the meeting of EU home affairs ministers.

In addition to attending the summit, the minister held a bilateral meeting with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, to whom he expressed Spain's firm commitment to making progress in the negotiations of the future Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The minister referred to the joint declaration approved on 25 September by the MED5 countries in Malaga as a starting point for the Mediterranean group to reorient the current negotiations. "The proposals on which progress is being made today continue to insist on the responsibility of the countries of first entry, leaving aside the equitable distribution of responsibility and those measures aimed at achieving real and effective solidarity," Grande-Marlaska regretted.

The Minister for Home Affairs also expressed his support for further progress in developing the external dimension of immigration. "Only by strengthening the capacities of the security forces of the countries of origin and transit, with the priority objective of preventing irregular immigration outflows, will we avoid the loss of lives and the violation of human rights by criminal organisations," he stressed.

In addition to the meeting with Commissioner Johansson, Grande-Marlaska took advantage of his stay in the Council to hold bilateral meetings with his colleagues from France and Sweden on the future presidencies of the Council of the European Union in 2022 and 2023, and to discuss issues related to both migration and organised crime.

The minister also met with his counterparts from Belgium, France and the Netherlands to discuss issues of common interest in the fight against international drug trafficking and money laundering. The three countries have agreed on new strategic lines of work and will meet again next month.

Strengthening the investigations against child sexual abuse

During the meeting, the Council stressed the need to strengthen the investigation and prevention of sexual offences against children online. "Spain maintains the maximum commitment in the fight against violence against children and, in particular, against child sexual abuse, as a basic imperative for the protection of human rights", said Grande-Marlaska on this issue.

The minister added that "legal solutions are still insufficient" for the investigation of this type of crime, which now requires the voluntary cooperation of digital platforms to enable the search, removal and notification of the content being prosecuted.

"We share the need to find a long-term solution to this constraint on police investigation. A balance must be struck between respect for fundamental rights such as privacy and intimacy, on one hand, and the protection of the physical and moral integrity of our children, on the other," said Grande-Marlaska.

Non official translation