Madrid Summit to discuss illegal immigration

The Foreign and Interior ministers of the 8 EU countries most affected by the arrival of illegal immigrants – France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Spain – meet today in Madrid to discuss ways in which to design joint policies and strategies aimed at tackling the growing problem of illegal immigration.

The Spanish government has been trying – unsuccessfully – to pursuade the EU to
become more involved in finding solutions to the problem of immigrants arriving by boats en masse to the Canary Islands and several coastal areas in Southern Spain. The arrival of these kinds of boats has been a problem for some years now, but this Summer it reached acute proportions, leading to appeals for EU help from the Canarian and Spanish governments.

According to reports in Cadena Ser, the Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spanish Foreign Minister, and Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, Interior Minister, are expected to propose to their EU colleages the creation of a European border police force and coastguard in the summit meeting today.

The ministers intend to elaborate a joint proposal to be presented in the EU summit meeting of Home Secretaries scheduled for next month and ultimately to be approved by the Summit of EU heads of state and governments to be held in Finland on 20th October.

Spain will underline the need for a quick, efficient system to be established at coastal borders to replace the current FRONTEX post in waters near the Canary Islands which is deemed by the Spanish government to be insufficient. The French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkoxy has announced his intention to propose a “European pact” whereby EU member states pledge not to undertake any mass immigration regulation policies similar to that passed by the Spanish government last year which many believe that, far from solving the problem of illegal immigration, may be one of the reasons why an increasing number of people from North Africa risk their lives in a desperate attempt to reach Spain in small, overcrowded boats.

Related to the problem of immigration in Spain:
Spain appeals to EU for help with illegal immigration
Situation in the Canary Islands worsens
Immigration in Spain
Legalisation of illegal immigrants in Spain
Immigrants on hunger strike in Barclona
Migrants die in border fence crush in Ceuta
New Spanish immigration laws
Reform of Spanish immigration laws