The informal Council has really two items on its agenda – the situation in the Ukraine and Greece. The latter could be as dangerous as the former, unless it is treated with farsightedness.

At the initial stages of negotiations with Greece, if any take place, brinkmanship could fast become the order of the day. If taken too far, this could lead to an unforgivable collapse.

Governments which have lent billions of their citizens’ monies cannot be expected to write off those amounts overnight. However the people of Greece cannot be expected to give up for too long the prospects of a decent life. They only have one to live.

The bailout plan for Greece has not worked. It has imposed too many sufferings on the Greek people. Therefore it must be radically restructured.

Perhaps too the eurozone has to be restructured over the medium term even if this will initially appear to be a weakening of the EU’s immense soft power in Europe and elsewhere.

If negotiations with Greece are to go beyond brinkmanship, the values that must be asserted need to go beyond technical considerations to tap the sources of a meaningful solidarity.

[Maltese Version]
Fil-veritá, il-Kunsill informali għandu biss zewġ materji għad-diskussjoni — il-qagħda fl-Ukrajna u fil-Greċja.

Tal-aħħar tista tkun perikoluża daqs tal-ewwel, jekk ma tiġix trattata b’dehen li jħares ‘il bogħod.

Fl-ewwel stadji tan-negozjati mal-Greċja, jekk dawn se jseħħu, malajr jista’ jiġri li ż-żewġ naħat jersqu qrib ħafna tax-xifer.

Jekk dil-ħaġa tittieħed wisq ‘il bogħod nistgħu naslu għal kollass inaċċettabli.

Wieħed ma jistax jistenna li gvernijiet li sellfu biljuni mill-flus taċ-ċittadini tagħhom se jkunu lesti li jaħfruhom mil-lum għal għada.

Madankollu lanqas ma wieħed jistenna li l-poplu Grieg se jneħħi għal żmien twil iżżejjed kull prospett li xi darba se jkun jista’ jgħix ħajja diċenti.

Għandu ħajja waħda biss x’jgħix.

Il-pjan ta’ salvataġġ tal-Greċja ma rnexxiex. Terġa’, impona wisq tbatija fuq il-poplu Grieg.

Għalhekk għandu jkun ristrutturat bil-qawwa.

Forsi wkoll li ż-żona tal-ewro se jkollha tiġi ristrutturat fuq medda medja ta’ żmien anke jekk għall-ewwel dan jista’ jidher bħala li se jdgħajjef xi ftit is-“soft power” immens li tipposjedi l-Unjoni Ewropea fl-Ewropa u lil hinn minnha.

Jekk in-negozjati mal-Greċja se jmorru lil hinn minn manuvrar qrib xifer l-irdum, il-valuri li għandhom jiġu mħaddma jridu jissuperaw konsiderazzjonijiet tekniċi biex ifittxu l-għeruq ta’ solidarjetà ġenwina.

[English Version]
In dealing with the movement of people coming to live in Europe, three factors have to be developed in step with each other if we are to face coherently the challenges that are leading signficant numbers of people to move to our midst. We need too to remain coherent with the values that constitute Europe.

In first place, there should be effective vigilance at the Union’s frontiers. A lot remains to be done in this field. The countries at the Union’s frontiers by themselves are not succeeding to cope with the problems. Meanwhile, the common effort that has been undertaken in this regard is still insufficient.

In second place, we need to have an asylum policy that in its formulation and implementation is
comprehensive, up to date and well co-ordinated. Significant steps in this direction have been taken but again, a lot remains to be done especially by way of burden sharing.

And in third place there needs to be introduced a common policy regarding legal immigration to the Union, one that satisfies the demands for more workers in certain member states and reflects the different economic requirements of others. Such a policy would be able to channel the demand for economic migration coming from outside the Union and would help to calibrate policies to exercise vigilance at frontiers. It would offer a rational and humane approach to the huge personal problems created by any form of mass migration.

Unfortunately, there has been least progress in the development of such a common policy on legal migration. Yet this is an area where the call for more Europe makes most sense. Up to now it has been the President of this Parliament Martin Schulz who has given the greatest recognition to such a priority.

In the framework of a European policy on legal migration, efforts to exercise vigilance at the
frontiers and to regulate the granting of asylum would become more effective.

[Maltese Version]
Fil-qasam ta’ kif popli minn barra l-Ewropa jitħallew jiġu jgħixu fiha, hemm tliet fatturi li jridu jiġu zviluppati flimkien jekk se naffaċċjaw b’mod koerenti l-isfidi li qed iwasslu biex ikun hemm ċaqliq qawwi ta’ popolazzjonijiiet lejna. U rridu nżommu koerenti wkoll mal-valuri li jikkostitwixxu l-Ewropa.

Fl-ewwel post, irid ikun hemm viġilanza serja mal-fruntieri tal-Unjoni. Għad baqa’ ħafna xi jsir f’dal-qasam. Il-pajjizi li jinsabu fil-fruntiera tal-Unjoni waħidhom mhux jirnexxielhom ilaħħqu mal-problemi. L-isforz komuni sadattant għadu mhux bizzejjed.

Fit-tieni post, għandu jkollna politika ta’ għoti u tħaddim ta’ azil li tkun komprensiva, aġġornata u
kkordinata sew. Saru passi siewja f’dan is-sens imma baqa’ ħafna xi jsir speċjalment fil-mod kif il-piżijiet jitqassmu bejn pajjiżi membri.

U fit-tielet post, għandha tiddaħħal politika komuni dwar immigrazzjoni legali fl-Unjoni li tissodisfa t-talba għal aktar ħaddiema f’ċerti pajjizi membri u li tirrifletti bzonnijiet ekonomiċi differenti f’pajjizi membri oħra. Politika bħal din tkun tista’ tikkanalizza t-talba għal immigrazzjoni ekonomika minn barra l-Unjoni u tgħin fl-ikkalibrar tal-politika ta’ viġilanza mal-fruntieri. Toffri qafas razzjonali u ħanin għall-problemi umani kbar li tirraprezenta kwalunkwe forma ta’ migrazjoni.

B’xorti ħazina, l-anqas li ġiet zviluppata sa issa, kienet din il-politika komuni dwar l-immigrazzjoni legali, anke jekk dan hu qasam fejn l-għajta ta’ aktar Ewropa l-aktar li jagħmel sens. Sa issa, kien biss il-President ta’ dal-Parlament Martin Schulz li l-aktar ta għarfien lil din il-priorità.

Hu f’qafas ta’ politika Ewropea għal migrazzjoni legali li l-isforzi biex titħaddem il-viġilanza fil-fruntieri u biex l-asil ikun regolat jistgħu jsiru aktar effettivi.