New Pact on Migration and Asylum: First meeting of the new European contact group on search and rescue

This morning, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, opened the work of the new European contact group on search and rescue. The contact group is a key action of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum to address the issue of search and rescue at sea. It provides a framework for cooperation, information exchange and sharing of good practices between different actors involved in search and rescue operations including EU Agencies, international organisations and private entities, such as non-governmental organisations and merchant vessels associations. Its first meeting has brought together national coastguard authorities in Member States and Schengen associated countries. Commissioner Johansson said: “Saving lives at sea is a moral duty, as well as a legal obligation for Member States. As outlined in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, we need a predictable and reliable framework for search and rescue in the Mediterranean. The EU cannot impose solutions but with this new tool, we are bringing all those with responsibilities around one table to find solutions. This is an essential step forward in managing this complex and essential issue.” Commissioner Johansson published a blog article and her speech is available online.