As a Mediterranean country Malta’s vocation has always been to strive for peace and stability in the region – PM
At the Auberge de Castille, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat welcomed the six Heads of State that form part of EUMed7. This sixth Summit Meeting for Southern Countries in the European Union is the first held in Malta.
The first of the six to arrive was French President Emmanuel Macron, followed by the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and then Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.
At the beginning of the Summit, Prime Minister Muscat said the meeting in Malta is taking place at a crucial time when decisions are being taken about the future of the EU.
The PM said, “All this is happening at a time when the world is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable and in this scenario our European Union needs to play a meaningful global role by stimulating stability and growth in this region and beyond”.
Dr Muscat said that as a Mediterranean country, Malta’s vocation has always been to concentrate on peace and stability in the region.
“In this context of a world becoming less, not more stable, we still believe as a country in the Mediterranean Chapter of the Helsinki Final Act signed in 1975 which includes the most prophetic of theorems – that there can be no peace and stability in Europe without security and stability in our Mediterranean region”.
He also spoke of immigration and security in the Mediterranean.
“The instability in Libya is a threat not only to us as a country but to the EU as a whole. Our call for engagement with the UN to ensure a full and comprehensive stop of hostilities is only a first step in a very long process of rebuilding Libya. This also links up with stability in Africa which is so crucial to start attacking the roots of illegal migration that is not only a cause of concern to citizens but also a cause of instability”.
The PM said that the help provided has shown progress and a number of EU Member States have helped each other out in burden sharing. He also praised the work of the Libyan Coastguards and the training given from EU Funds and this has also enabled them to carry out rescue operations.
Dr Muscat said the work carried out by the Malta Summit should be spread on a set of principles based on the belief of a change in the future of Europe.
“This can be done by working together on social rights, on quality of life, putting the European Social Agenda at the forefront and this includes the need to promote further gender equality, further priorities for the LGBTIQ+ community across the board.”
Dr Muscat said the Summit’s discussions should also treat other issues, including economic growth, innovation, climate change and an escalating situation between Cyprus and Turkey.
Following this opening speech, the Summit continued in private.
The PM’s speech may be followed here:
Il-PM jilqa’ lis-6 kapijiet tal-istati li jiffurmaw l-EUMed7