Of­fi­cial talks with Pol­ish Sec­re­tary of State Wo­j­ciech Kacz­mar­czyk

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Malta’s civil so­ci­ety model and the fund­ing struc­ture of non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions were among the is­sues dis­cussed yes­ter­day be­tween Min­is­ter for So­cial Di­a­logue, Con­sumer Af­fairs and Civil Lib­er­ties He­lena Dalli, and Pol­ish Sec­re­tary of State at the Chan­cellery of Poland’s Prime Min­is­ter Wo­j­ciech Kacz­mar­czyk, and the gov­ern­ment plenipo­ten­tiary for civil so­ci­ety and equal treat­ment.

Kacz­mar­czyk is cur­rently in Malta hold­ing sev­eral meet­ings prior to the draft­ing of a na­tional Pol­ish pro­gramme with civil so­ci­ety. Mr Kacz­mar­czyk ex­plained that Poland is also plan­ning to re­form the way Pol­ish NGOs re­ceive their fi­nan­cial sup­port, which cur­rently is highly de­pen­dent on gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Min­is­ter Dalli spoke about var­i­ous amend­ments that are be­ing pro­posed to the Malta Coun­cil for Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment that would en­able it to take a bot­tom-up ap­proach and broaden the base for more democ­racy. Through this ap­proach, more NGOs would be able to give their in­put at an early stage of con­sul­ta­tions.

Dr Dalli re­marked that in line with the elec­toral man­i­festo, the min­istry had set up an LGBTIQ con­sul­ta­tive coun­cil made up of NGOs in the field who gave their ex­per­tise in the draft­ing of im­por­tant bills such as the civil unions and the gen­der iden­tity bills. Such NGOs are also giv­ing valid in­put dur­ing pol­icy for­mu­la­tion.

Min­is­ter Dalli men­tioned that the Malta Coun­cil for the Vol­un­tary Sec­tor op­er­ates at a dis­tance from the gov­ern­ment, so much so that its Chair is ap­pointed by NGOs. “We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the work of vol­un­teers and we want the vol­un­tary sec­tor to thrive un­der ev­ery gov­ern­ment with no po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence,” stated Dr Dalli.

Min­is­ter Dalli said that fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral on the way NGOs used to re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance un­der pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions, this gov­ern­ment im­ple­mented a se­ries of changes lead­ing to a more trans­par­ent and ac­count­able sys­tem.

Both sides dis­cussed equal­ity and mi­gra­tion is­sues, as well as ways how to have more avail­able data on civil so­ci­ety from the Euro­pean per­spec­tive.

The DOI press re­lease did not say if the Pol­ish Sec­re­tary of State made any com­ment on Malta’s re­la­tions with LGBTIQ in view of the well-known po­si­tion taken by the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment.

Pho­to­graph: Reuben Pis­copo (DOI)

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