The European Commission supports Malta in managing arrivals of migrants and implementing a suitable reception system with the help of its staff member permanently located in Malta, the EU agencies present on the ground (EUAA and Europol) and EU funding.
European Commission staff member
The Commission staff member present in Malta cooperates with Maltese authorities and relevant actors to ensure efficient migration management and follow-up to search and rescue operations. Among other things, the staff member:
- facilitates and coordinates the voluntary relocation of asylum seekers from Malta to pledging EU countries and Schengen associated countries
- promotes effective border management
- promotes adequate asylum and return procedures
European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA)
The European Union Agency for Asylum has been providing operational and technical assistance in Malta since 2019. While the cooperation initially focused on relocating refugees and asylum seekers, now the EUAA also supports the Maltese authorities in the areas of asylum and reception.
Since it started providing support, the EUAA has been working together with the Maltese authorities to help speed up the processing of pending asylum applications. In 2021, this resulted in finishing the registration of all migrants who expressed willingness to apply for international protection. It has also built upon the existing referral mechanism, together with the relevant authorities and stakeholders, to identify as early as possible potential vulnerable applicants who are in need of special procedural safeguards and/or reception conditions.
Europol temporary deployments to Malta began in 2021 to provide support in terms of checks with a focus on counter-terrorism. Since November 2021, one Europol Guest Officer is deployed in Malta permanently.