11 Oct 2019

The Malta declaration on SAR and relocation

A predictable EU solidarity mechanism?

Sergio Carrera / Roberto Cortinovis

Download Publication


The joint declaration of intent signed at the informal summit between the interior ministers of Italy, Malta, France and Germany in La Valletta on 23 September 2019 (the ‘Malta declaration’) has been presented as a milestone in addressing controversies over Search and Rescue (SAR) and disembarkation of asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean. This Policy Insight provides a critical analysis of the declaration, questioning its added value in ensuring a predictable EU solidarity mechanism in the Mediterranean. It underlines how the intergovernmental and extra-EU Treaty character of this initiative raises a number of concerns regarding its compliance with EU Treaties and principles such as the one of equal solidarity and fair responsibility sharing for asylum seekers among all member states.