6 EU Nations to Take in Stranded ‘Ocean Viking’ Migrants

6 EU Nations to Take in Stranded ‘Ocean Viking’ Migrants

Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat has announced on Twitter that following discussions with the European Commission, 6 EU member states have agreed to relocate the 356 migrants stranded aboard the Ocean Viking ship.

The Norwegian flagged ship is operated by French charities SOS Mediterraee and Mèdecins Sans Frontières.

Following a stand-off over permission to disembark, it has spent the last 14 days sailing between Malta and the Italian islands of Sicily and Lampedusa.

The ship rescued the migrants on board in 4 separate operations over a 4- day period from August 9th. The ship patrolled the waters off the Libyan coast searching for vessels attempting to carry migrants to the EU.

The Maltese PM named France, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal and Romania as the willing nations. He said Maltese armed forces vessels will take the migrants ashore.

His statement reiterated that none of the migrants will be relocated in Malta.

A statement issued by the Maltese Government said, ‘Malta has agreed to be part of the solution in the Ocean Viking stalemate, without prejudice to its legal position.’

In a statement SOS Mediterraee Director of Operations Frédéric Penard, criticised the response to the situation from the Governments of EU member states. He said, ‘The role Malta, other Member States and the European Commission have had in leading this disembarkation into a place of safety shows cooperation is possible to avoid unnecessary standoffs in the central Mediterranean.

We hope that the ad hoc solution implemented today will transform into the predictable and sustainable disembarkation mechanism promised many times by several European Union Member States.’

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Dimitris Avrampoulous, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said that he welcomed the solution for those aboard the Ocean Viking.

He commended the Maltese Government and its Prime Minister for their solidarity.

He praised the 6 EU member states that have agreed to relocate the migrants and said that ‘These commitments must now be honoured swiftly.’

The French Government has agreed to take 150 of the migrants on board while Portugal has said it will take up to 35.  It remains unclear how many migrants each the other 6 member states will accommodate.

According to Mèdecins Sans Frontières 100 of those on board the ship are minors. 90 of those are unaccompanied by adults.

Photo by SOS Mediterranee/Twitter

Antoinette Tyrrell is a writer and journalist who started her career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland. An English and History graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, she worked for 11 years in corporate public relations for Irish Government bodies in the Foreign Direct Investment and Energy sectors.

She is the founder of GoWrite, a business writing and public relations consultancy. Her work has appeared in a range of national and international media and trade publications. She is also a traditionally published novelist of commercial fiction.

newsletter
Join our mailing list and never miss an update !
People of Ukraine Awarded the European Parliament’s 2022 Sakharov Prize

People of Ukraine Awarded the European Parliament’s 2022 Sakharov Prize

Members of the European Parliament have awarded the 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders and civil society. The Sakharov

EU Council Approves Law to Improve Gender Balance on Company Boards

EU Council Approves Law to Improve Gender Balance on Company Boards

The EU Council has given the final go-ahead to EU rules to promote more balanced gender representation on the boards of listed companies. The directive, which will have to be transposed

EU Proposing Emergency Intervention in Energy Markets as Household Energy Costs Soar

EU Proposing Emergency Intervention in Energy Markets as Household Energy Costs Soar

The EU Commission is proposing an emergency intervention in Europe's energy markets to tackle recent dramatic price rises. Due to a severe mismatch between energy demand and supply, primarily due