Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi today voted against the whole Common European Asylum System (CEAS) package in the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg.  The CEAS package has been negotiated between the European Commission, Council and Parliament and seeks to update the current legislation in the European Union with regards to the irregular immigration and Asylum seekers. 

In reaction to the outcome of the vote, Mrs Mizzi said:  “I have voted against the whole CEAS package as I believe that while the CEAS is an improvement on the current legislative regime and has some valid points, it does not adequately tackle the problems faced by countries on the periphery of the European Union such as Malta.  The lack of a mandatory burden sharing system does not guarantee the necessary levels of solidarity in order to ensure that such a system works fairly.”

Amongst the reports which were part of the CEAS package, the Eurodac report is seeking to update the common database for the fingerprinting of asylum seekers.  Such a system would force Member States to keep updated records of asylum seekers coming to and from their countries.

Marlene Mizzi said: “In light of the lack of a mandatory burden sharing system, I have also voted against the Eurodac report. I believe that in the present scenario, Eurodac imposes further additional burdens on small countries like Maltawhich already has the highest amount of irregular immigrants and asylum seekers per capita in the European Union”.

Mrs Mizzi concluded by saying: “Unfortunately, we still haven’t been able to find the right balance between the rights of the individual seeking asylum and the burdens that are being imposed on receiving countries. I like to let my voting record on this issue do the talking for me.  I have always been consistent in my views on this issue and I do not intend to change now unless the interests of Malta are seriously taken into consideration”.

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