Euro­pean de­fence ac­tion plan ‘to­tally ill-ad­vised’ Al­fred Sant

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

For­mer Prime Minister Al­fred Sant told the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal to work on a Euro­pean De­fence Ac­tion plan and a Euro­pean De­fence Fund is to­tally ill-ad­vised. It is the kind of project that peo­ple in the Brus­sels bub­ble will dream of in their ef­forts to counter what they see as Europe fa­tigue.

Be­sides hav­ing un­in­tended con­se­quences, some of them un­known, others dan­ger­ous, a so-called Euro­pean de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity, or even a start to it, will sim­ply end up, sooner rather than later, re­in­forc­ing the wide scep­ti­cism about the Euro­pean project that these peo­ple seek to con­tain. Dr Sant made these re­marks dur­ing the de­bate on the ‘Com­mis­sion Work Pro­gramme 2017’ at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Stras­bourg.

Dr Sant said The Com­mis­sion Work Pro­gramme for 2017 has a high and a low point. The high point forms part of the Youth Ini­tia­tive, in it­self a most worth­while pri­or­ity. The pro­posal to es­tab­lish a Euro­pean Sol­i­dar­ity Corps mer­its full sup­port. It seeks to en­gage young peo­ple in worth­while public ini­tia­tives from which they could learn so­cial and tech­ni­cal skills, while un­der­stand­ing bet­ter to­day’s re­al­i­ties in a chang­ing Europe. One hopes that the scheme will op­er­ate on a de­volved ba­sis, draw­ing fully on na­tional bod­ies in­volved in youth af­fairs. The worst that could hap­pen to it is to be sub­sumed in the val­ues and con­cerns of peo­ple liv­ing in the Brus­sels bub­ble.

Every year, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion adopts a Work Pro­gramme which sets out its key ini­tia­tives for the year ahead. The Com­mis­sion Work Pro­gramme in­forms ci­ti­zens how it will de­liver on the po­lit­i­cal pri­or­i­ties and turn them into con­crete ac­tion in 2017. This is the third Work Pro­gramme to be pre­sented by the Juncker Com­mis­sion.

It is fully aligned with the pri­or­i­ties iden­ti­fied by the 27 EUHeads of State or Gov­ern­ment in Bratislava, and in­cludes con­crete pro­pos­als which will con­trib­ute to the long-term vi­sion of the Union ahead of the 60th an­niver­sary of the Treaties of Rome in March 2017.For­merly, the Com­mis­sion pro­posed an av­er­age of over 130 new ini­tia­tives in each an­nual Work Pro­gramme. This year, it con­tains only 21 key ini­tia­tives, re­flect­ing the pri­or­ity fo­cus on agree­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the pro­pos­als al­ready on the table from pre­vi­ous years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.