The President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said that the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council is an opportunity to strengthen our vision of Europe – a vision of unity and inclusive participation, so that peace can reign in our society together with other societies. As Malta takes over the leadership of the Presidency, the President wrote an article published in the newspapers saying that, in order to obtain this vision, the economic strength of the Union need to progress in line with inclusive strategies so that people’s lives can be improved. She urged for full commitment so that everyone can reach his potential, especially those who are in most need of help.
The President stressed the need for sustainable and inclusive opportunities, through effective systems and open job markets. She called for action on the statistics issued by Eurostat, which show that one out of every four people in the EU is at the risk of poverty or social exclusion and said that we need to resist divisions and provocations wherever they exist.
The President said that during this particular moment in our history, we need to work together, shoulder to shoulder. She urged the institutions to strengthen their endeavours by working hand in hand with civil society and for authorities to come together to improve communication among the various active social partners.
The President said that the EU cannot just be an institution from where policies are dictated, which she said do not always reflect people’s reality. The heart of the EU, she said, needs to centre on people who bring life and strength to Europe.
Her Excellency urged the Maltese public, as EU citizens, to be active by making their voices heard about what type of Europe they wish to live in and what legacy they wish to leave their children. She added, however that we also need to include the direct experience of those who live in poverty, exclusion and discrimination.
The President expressed her wish that during the Maltese Presidency, we should share our experiences as Maltese, and as a Mediterranean and European people, to bring out the best in ourselves as a resilient population which believes in solidarity and peace.