Malta allowed 425 migrants to disembark

On June 6th, Malta allowed 425 migrants to disembark after spending 45 days inside four tourist boats. The four ships, with hundreds of people rescued in the Mediterranean, had been at sea since April. Malta rented tourist boats to keep the 425 rescued people after closing its ports due to the coronavirus emergency. 

France, Luxembourg and Portugal governments are willing to take in some of them. The incident has brought the debate on the need for a more humanitarian migration plan in Europe again. 

The European Commission is set to unveil a New Pact on Migration and Asylum in June. The new plan was expected by February, but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution of arriving asylum seekers across member states is expected to be a vital element of this new pact as it was in 2015. That year, the former President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed to establish mandatory quotas for the distribution of migrants. 

The 2015 quota scheme was approved in theory, but it did not work in practice. One hundred sixty thousand asylum seekers should have been divided among the EU 28 member states, however, in September 2017 only some 30,000 migrants had been distributed, and the European Commission dropped the scheme.