By John Ensor •
Published: 17 Nov 2023 • 15:21
Immigration discussion in Madrid.
In a meeting today, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the acting Minister of the Interior of Spain, met in Madrid to discuss the growing problem of migration.
On Friday, November 17, Spain’s Fernando Grande-Marlaska met with Amy E. Pope, the newly appointed director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
A US citizen, Pope assumed the role on October 1, and in so doing becomes the first woman to occupy leadership of the IOM in its 70-year history.
Today’s engagement focused on Spain’s unwavering dedication to fostering ‘safe, orderly, and regular migration’.
The Spanish minister expressed Spain’s commitment to a migration policy that emphasises collaboration with nations of origin and transit.
This approach also involves combating networks involved in human trafficking. ‘It is a cooperation based on respect, mutual and long-term trust, and daily operational work,’ Grande-Marlaska stated.
Grande-Marlaska discussed Spain’s recent efforts to push forward the negotiation of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, expressing confidence in its imminent approval.
The EU pact is a high priority for Spain’s presidency semester. ‘Now is the time. There is not much time left, but Parliament and the Council are closer and more committed than ever to the Pact and we cannot miss this opportunity,’ he said.
The Minister explained that the migration agreement, reached thanks to the flexibility of Member States, will provide ‘a new improved and updated legal framework’. This framework will, for the first time, include elements of solidarity and ‘will launch a message of unity.’
In the realm of international protection, Grande-Marlaska highlighted the increase in asylum applications in Spain, noting that the number rose to over 137,900 by October 31. This number surpasses the total for the entire year of 2022.
Following the recent setback to the UK Government in which their controversial deal with Rwanda was deemed unlawful, the solutions to the problem of immigration are still being hotly debated. While the UK looks for ways to get around the Supreme Court ruling, the question remains, are Spain and the EU doing enough?
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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