Gov­ern­ment con­cerned about cuts in co­he­sion funds

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

A min­is­ter and a par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary, speak­ing at two dif­fer­ent EU meet­ings, ex­pressed con­cern and dis­ap­proval at pro­posed cuts in co­he­sion funds as dis­cus­sions about the next fi­nanc­ing pe­riod started in earnest.

Min­is­ter for Euro­pean Af­fairs and Equal­ity He­lena Dalli, whilst par­tic­i­pat­ing in the dis­cus­sions on the Multi-An­nual Fi­nan­cial Frame­work at the Gen­eral Af­fairs Coun­cil, high­lighted the im­por­tance of co­he­sion pol­icy as a mea­sure to lever­age in­vest­ment and to en­hance trade across the EU bloc.

The Gen­eral Af­fairs Coun­cil has been con­vened pri­mar­ily to take stock of the lat­est state of play of ne­go­ti­a­tions on the MFF post-2020.

“Co­he­sion pol­icy de­serves greater im­por­tance through ap­pro­pri­ate al­lo­ca­tion, not the pro­posed re­duc­tions”, Min­is­ter Dalli re­marked. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, in its MFF pro­posal, is sug­gest­ing fund­ing re­duc­tions to the co­he­sion pol­icy pro­gramme. Co­he­sion pol­icy is con­sid­ered vi­tal for re­gions and mem­ber states of the Euro­pean Union in their so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Min­is­ter Dalli noted that de­spite GDP be­ing a good mea­sure­ment, it is cru­cial to con­sider other pe­cu­liar­i­ties preva­lent in re­gions and in mem­ber states which the GDP mea­sure­ment does not take into ac­count. Min­is­ter Dalli stressed that co­he­sion pol­icy is still rel­e­vant even for those mem­ber states which have reached a cer­tain level of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary Aaron Far­ru­gia was more forth­right. The Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Euro­pean Funds and So­cial Di­a­logue said that the EU funds which Malta will re­ceive post2020 should con­sol­i­date and sus­tain, not halt or hin­der, the eco­nomic growth which Malta has ex­pe­ri­enced in re­cent years.

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