A back­drop to Malta’s Pres­i­dency

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Dur­ing a brief­ing meet­ing on Malta’s Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union held to­day with EU Am­bas­sadors, the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mr Louis Grech un­der­lined that it is high time to ad­dress con­cretely the com­plex­ity of the Euro­pean Union and the un­cer­tain­ties, fears and in­equal­i­ties felt by the Euro­pean ci­ti­zens.

The Deputy Prime Min­is­ter out­lined the main ar­eas of fo­cus by the Mal­tese Pres­i­dency, which in­clude mi­gra­tion, the sin­gle mar­ket, se­cu­rity, mar­itime, so­cial in­clu­sion and the neigh­bour­hood pol­icy.

The Mal­tese Pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil also comes at a chal­leng­ing time and when the very sus­tain­able ex­is­tence of the Union is be­ing put to test. The eco­nomic cri­sis, Brexit, Mi­gra­tion, Se­cu­rity and Ter­ror­ism have trau­ma­tised the Euro­pean project. We should en­sure the ef­fec­tive con­tin­u­a­tion of the Euro­pean Project and over­come the ob­vi­ous set­back of Brexit, and con­cen­trate on the fun­da­men­tal needs of Euro­pean ci­ti­zens.

The problems facing the Euro­pean Union should not hin­der us from con­tin­u­ing and build­ing on the Euro­pean agenda but they should pro­vide us with an im­pe­tus to build a stronger, more com­pet­i­tive and so­cial Europe, said Mr Grech.

Dur­ing his in­ter­ven­tion, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for EU Pres­i­dency 2017 Dr Ian Borg said that Malta gains cred­i­bil­ity when it com­mu­ni­cates openly and hon­estly about Europe’s short­com­ings, while also find­ing tan­gi­ble ways of show­ing the pos­i­tive ef­fect dif­fer­ent de­ci­sions can make in peo­ples’ lives. In fact, the in­ten­tion is to make com­mu­ni­ca­tions an im­por­tant plat­form of the Mal­tese Pres­i­dency strat­egy Dr Borg sub­mit­ted.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary Borg made ref­er­ence to the 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the sign­ing of the Treaty of Rome in March next year. This is an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the past as well as chart to­gether our Euro­pean fu­ture.

The Deputy Prime Min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that as Malta will be lead­ing the last phase of the Trio of Pres­i­den­cies, the Mal­tese Pres­i­dency will em­pha­sise on work­ing on a num­ber of agen­das and dossiers that bring the mem­ber states closer to­gether and the Union closer to its ci­ti­zens.

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