It was supposed to be a meeting to talk about the European migrant crisis as well as the future of the European Union after Brexit. But EU leaders gathered in Malta turned their focus to the United States and relations with its new president, Donald Trump.
CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports.
EU leaders gather in Malta to talk about migration and US relationsIt was supposed to be a meeting to talk about the European migrant crisis as well as the future of the European Union after Brexit. But EU leaders gathered in Malta turned their focus to the United States and relations with its new president, Donald Trump.
The EU has agreed to provide 200 million euros, about $215 million, for projects aimed at preventing migrants from crossing the Mediterranean from the Libyan coast.
The action plan by leaders of the EU and European countries was announced at an informal EU summit in Malta. They hope to prevent a new wave of migrants sailing to Italy from Africa.
Last year, more than 180,000 people made the journey into Europe along the central Mediterranean route. 90 percent of them are from Libya. Those measures included providing training and equipment to support Libya’s national coast guard.
The EU also wants to encourage a voluntary return of migrants trying to get into Europe and will collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and government organizations along with NGO’s.
Migration wasn’t the only item on the agenda in Valletta, Malta’s capital. Europe, shaken by growing division, Brexit and the new Trump administration in the U.S. wants to chart a new course and seeks unity.
Later this year, Europe will mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome which led to the establishment of the EU. Officials in Valletta hope this week’s progress will carry over and strengthen the European integration process.
Quentin Peel discuesses the Brexit and Theresa May’s influence to the EU members
For more on Brexit and Theresa May’s influence on EU members, CGTN’s Susan Roberts spoke to Quentin Peel, Associate fellow with the Europe Program at Chatham House.