Migrants attend a class of Spanish on board NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue boat in central Mediterranean Sea, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Migrants learn Spanish onboard the Proactiva Open Arms boat, which is devoted to search and rescue at sea © Reuters

Your report “ Attempt to solve migrant crisis needs more work, says Brussels” (August 6) refers to an interview with Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international co-operation and development. In the month since that interview on July 9, as tasked by all EU heads of state or government unanimously, the commission has been exploring, together with member states and UN agencies, collective solutions to ensure better co-ordination and predictability in search and rescue and disembarkation with all partners around the Mediterranean, on an equal footing.

The commission has outlined possible ways forward for the establishment of regional disembarkation arrangements in partnership with third countries, and has continued to work with partners and member states. We are working constructively at international level together with our member states to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination, as demonstrated by a meeting chaired by the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency in Geneva last week. Discussions on this issue will continue after the summer.

In the meantime, we will continue to provide targeted support to third countries, building on already existing relationships with them. New common initiatives should include increased development funding and a new framework to boost private and public investment. As Mr Mimica stressed during the interview, development co-operation is the best tool to tackle root causes of irregular migration and eradicate poverty.

What we are working on is a long-term common solution to stem irregular flows and facilitate legal and orderly migration, reinforcing our partnership with Africa and in particular with the African Union.

Mina Andreeva
Deputy Chief Spokesman,
European Commission

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