Official talks with Polish Secretary of State Wojciech Kaczmarczyk
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)