Addressing a media conference Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker spoke about the priorities of Malta’s Presidency of the EU Council following their bilateral discussions at Castille.
Dr Muscat said that Europe’s political class is too distanced from the general public and it is a priority that Malta’s Presidency addresses this problem. He explained that immigration also has high priority on the Agenda and although different EU countries hold different opinions it is important that progress is achieved, in particular better systems of European border controls.
President Juncker said he is optimistic that Malta will succeed in achieving progress on immigration, a problem that requires European solidarity from all EU countries. He said that including other solutions there should be a resolve for a greater European presence in the Mediterranean area, there should be an increase is resources for EASO (The EU Agency for Asylum Requests) to become a stronger EU Agency while there should be an extension of the plan for a greater investment in African countries to enable the roots of immigration problems to be tackled more effectively.
Asked by tvm.com.mt for his preliminary reactions after the EU Commission approved the new gas power station project, Dr Muscat said he is satisfied by the decision because this will make a great difference to people’s lives while paving the way for Malta to become a part of the European gas network.
Regarding ‘Brexit’, The Prime Minister said that before a final solution can be attained between the EU and the United Kingdom, it appears that no EU country will negotiate individual bilateral agreements with Britain while the EU President maintained that following Britain’s exit, the European project will not come to an end because he is confident that the EU is capable of overcoming obstacles because the project of European integration is designed to permanently remain.