The fight against illegal immigration still has to be invented, according to a letter sent, on 13 January, by four European countries - Greece, Malta, Italy and Cyprus - to the Czech EU Presidency and the European Commission. Two days later, at the informal Home Affairs Council in Prague, the ministers from these same countries, where most illegal immigrants enter the Union in search of a better life, pressed their European partners for concrete common actions to guarantee deportations.
The signatories - Roberto Maroni (Italy), Prokopis Pavlopoulos (Greece), Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici (Malta) and Neoklis Sylikiotis (Cyprus) - urged the Council to "take all measures necessary to guarantee the implementation of cooperation with the countries of origin and transit," states the letter of over five pages written in Italian, on the initiative of Rome, which hosted a meeting of the three other signatories, on 13 January.
Upon his arrival in Prague, Maroni called for the "strengthening of Frontex," the European agency for the management of operational cooperation at the external borders, and for "European bilateral agreements with illegal immigrants' countries of origin". Without such measures, it is "very difficult for each member state to proceed with deportations".
The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the key accomplishment in this field by last year's French EU Presidency and its Immigration Minister, Brice Hortefeux, is of course mentioned. …