Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will report on her participation in the Valetta summit on migration held in Malta on 11 and 12 November 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40813/15]
116. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will report on any bilateral meetings she had with representatives from other European states and from African states that participated in the Valetta summit on migration held in Malta on 11 and 12 November 2015. [40814/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 116 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that I represented Ireland at the Valletta Summit in Malta on 11 and 12 November 2015 on behalf of An Taoiseach who was unable to attend. This important Summit brought together leaders and senior government representatives from 31 European countries and 35 African nations in an effort to strengthen cooperation and address both the current challenges and opportunities of migration.
At the Summit leaders recognised that migration is a shared responsibility of countries of origin, transit and destination and we worked together to find common solutions to the challenges we are faced with. I am please to report that a range of substantive actions were agreed at the Summit. A Political Declaration was adopted and an Action Plan was agreed. The Action Plan is designed to :
- Address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement;
- Enhance cooperation on legal migration and mobility;
- Reinforce the protection of migrants and asylum seekers;
- Prevent and fight irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and
- To work more closely and improve cooperation on return, readmission and reintegration.
A list of 16 concrete actions to be implemented by end 2016 was agreed. The existing mechanisms of the Rabat Process, the Khartoum Process and the Joint EU-Africa strategy will be used to monitor the implementation of the action plan.
In addition, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root caused of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa to which Ireland will contribute €3m was formally launched at the Valletta Summit.
In relation to bilateral meetings, I had the opportunity in the course of the Summit to exchange views with a number of other participants, including Prime Minister Cameron of the UK, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Lofven of Sweden, the Eritrean Minister for Foreign Affairs - Minister Mohammed and Minister Shoukry the Foreign Minister of Egypt. In the course of my conversation with Minister Shoukry I raised the Halawa case.