Commissioner Cecilia Malmström was in Malta on 30 April for meetings with Maltese officials. Malta recently reaffirmed its decision not to host Frontex’s Operation Chronos. Malmström trip was planned before Malta’s announcement. There is no indication that Malta changed its position during Malmström’s visit.
Malmström was interviewed during her visit by the Times of Malta and said that the new guidelines governing Frontex enforcement operations at sea could be negotiated by member states on a mission by mission basis. The new guidelines require that intercepted migrants be taken to the country hosting the Frontex mission, but Malmström said there is the possibility before a mission starts that the participating member states agree on different rules of engagement, which might include the sharing of responsibility where not all intercepted migrants would be brought to country hosting the mission.
Presumably participating member states would not be permitted to negotiate substantive mission by mission changes to the guidelines so as to undercut the very reasons for which the guidelines were recently adopted.
Click here for Times of Malta article.
Click here for video of Times of Malta Interview.