More EU fi­nan­cial flex­i­bil­ity needed in or­der to meet con­cerns of ci­ti­zens – Ian Borg

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for EU Funds and the 2017 Pres­i­dency, Ian Borg, has ar­gued for greater flex­i­bil­ity within the EU’s bud­getary rules in or­der to al­low for mea­sures which bet­ter-ad­dress the con­cerns of ci­ti­zens.

The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary said this at a meet­ing of the Gen­eral Af­fairs Coun­cil in Brus­sels to­day, where min­is­ters re­viewed the EU’s bud­getary frame­work for the 2014-2020 pe­ri­ods, known as the Multi-An­nual Fi­nan­cial Frame­work.

Dr Borg noted Malta’s con­cern that the EU has not done enough to at­tend to the pri­or­i­ties of ci­ti­zens, stat­ing that “the crises of re­cent years have clearly high­lighted the need to in­crease the ca­pac­ity and flex­i­bil­ity of the fi­nan­cial re­sources we have at our dis­posal”.

He added that bring­ing the EU closer to its ci­ti­zens is of the ut­most im­por­tance to the Govern­ment and that this will be an un­der­ly­ing theme to Malta’s work dur­ing its up­com­ing Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the EU.

Dur­ing the meet­ing min­is­ters also dis­cussed the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s re­cent Let­ter of In­tent for its 2017 Work Pro­gramme. The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary stated that Malta looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing reg­u­lar co­or­di­na­tion and con­sul­ta­tions with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in this re­gard.

Dr Borg also stated that man­ag­ing the chal­lenges posed by mi­gra­tion will fea­ture as an ab­so­lute pri­or­ity for Malta. He stated that while a lot has al­ready been done, the EU is still far from pro­duc­ing the tan­gi­ble re­sults which ci­ti­zens ex­pect to see.

The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary stated that it is clear that the Cen­tral Mediter­ranean mi­gra­tory route has once again be­come an area of spe­cific con­cern, adding that the EU should stepup in­ter­ac­tion with Egypt as a part­ner and in­ter­locu­tor in pre­vent­ing the loss of life which is tak­ing place.

He went on to say that it is now more im­por­tant than ever to im­ple­ment the mea­sures agreed to at last year’s Valletta Sum­mit on Mi­gra­tion, adding that Malta looks for­ward to the pre­sen­ta­tion of a re­port by the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Fed­er­ica Mogherini in Oc­to­ber.

The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary also ex­pressed Malta’s sup­port for a com­pre­hen­sive dis­cus­sion on the fu­ture of the EU’s trade poli­cies, not­ing that a bal­anced ap­proach must be taken which ad­dresses the con­cerns of ci­ti­zens, while en­sur­ing that Europe re­mains open for busi­ness with the world.

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