Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Activities and Fisheries, said that the time has come to act on new policies between Europe and North Africa. Borg said a new strategy is needed to find mechanisms more suited ”to involving cooperation with third-party states of the basin. If we do not achieve this objective, we will be left with a somewhat unbalanced system of management for the Mediterranean”.
If a joint system between Europe and third countries is developed, assessment of sensitive issues such as illegal immigration ”could be coordinated with other aspects of the problem, such as developing systems of surveillance in North African countries, using development funds to head off this great tide of people”.
ANSAmed: “A pilot project is also on the cards for improving cooperation between national authorities of member states involved in surveillance operations as well as information exchange between port authorities. A study will then be launched to plan European maritime space and to realise an integrated project in connection with the EU’s Era-Net research network for strengthening coordination in marine research. All of which, Borg notes, must not disregard significant implements which are already in place: from the Mediterranean Union to Europe’s neighbourhood policies. The ball is now in the court of the EU’s general Council of Ministers and the Euro-parliament in the hope that it be taken up at December’s European summit.”
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