Employer organisations advocate less rigid, more business-friendly EU
Addressing existing single market fragmentations should be the underlining priority for the Maltese EU Presidency, according to Maltese employers. Businesses are still facing difficulties to sell across borders due to member states failing to provide mutual recognition of goods, while service-providers are facing barriers to establishing cross-border operations as a result of endless national requirements and a lack of market surveillance resulting in inferior products from third countries finding their way onto the European Single Market.
These, among other issues, were raised by a delegation of employer organisations consisting of the Malta Business Bureau, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs, and the Malta Employers Association, in a meeting with the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday. In a statement issued today, the Maltese employers said that the EU should confirm itself as a global actor by reinvigorating the Mediterranean as an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity. It should also make itself more attractive and make it easier for talent from third countries to come to the EU and contribute towards its growth, productivity and innovation.
These points were presented in a document entitled ‘The EU Presidency – A business Agenda’, and reflect the position of the main employer bodies in Malta.
They are the product of lengthy discussions held over the past weeks, in which the Maltese employer organisations discussed what, in their view, are the most relevant EU priorities and on which the Maltese Presidency should ensure progress for the common good of the EU. In an economic context, the employer bodies said that they advocate an EU which is less rigid and more business friendly, with clear, pragmatic and realistic priorities, and where the focus is on the concrete delivery of these priorities.
The employer organisations told the Prime Minister they are confident that Malta would step up during the EU Presidency, which will take place in the first half of 2017, and that they will continue to offer their full availability to assist in the preparation and the undertaking of the EU Presidency as needed.
The report was coordinated by Mr Stefano Mallia, Vice President of the Employers Group in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Christian Cardona, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna, Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Manuel Mallia and Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds and 2017 Presidency Ian Borg.