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Brussels, 16 September 2014
Commissioner Malmström welcomes IOM investigation on tragedies at sea and calls for more efforts to fight smuggler networks
"I deeply deplore the loss of lives outside the Libyan and Maltese coasts last week, my thoughts go out to the friends and families of the victims. I welcome the work of the International Organization for Migration, contributing to shedding light over this horrible incident. I am shocked by the testimonies of the survivors of the tragic incident outside the Maltese coast, reported by IOM. We must urgently increase our efforts to fight the horrendous activities of the smugglers responsible for the deaths of hundreds of women, men and children trying to cross the sea in search for a better life. The European Commission is already working on an EU Plan to tackle migrant smuggling. The Plan will focus on enhanced political dialogue and practical cooperation with priority third countries as well as on improving operational cooperation and intelligence sharing between Member States, the relevant EU Agencies (Europol, FRONTEX and European Asylum Support Office) and concerned third countries. This new death toll clearly illustrates that smugglers and criminals have no respect for human lives and we must urgently increase our efforts to fight them. Such efforts must be accompanied by a willingness by Member States to create more legal ways to Europe, such as accepting more resettled refugees."