Europe Day offers citizens unique platform to make their voices heard on Europe’s future

A historic conference to mark Europe Day is offering a unique platform for European citizens to express themselves on the future of Europe.

European Commissioner Helena Dalli said that Europe cannot simply remain an idealistic concept cut off from the people, but that the Union needs to build a bridge that leads to concrete improvement in people’s quality of life. Dr Dalli told TVM that the Commission will be proposing a new law to address gender-based violence after the Istanbul convention failed to reach a consensus on ratification among member states.

Interviewed on the occasion of Europe Day during the TVAM program, European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said that the European Union had demonstrated the key principle of solidarity with concrete results in the work on vaccinations for COVID-19. She said the European Union had emerged united against the virus.

“The manufacture of a vaccine usually takes about ten years and this was done in a year and so I think this is a concrete example of how much the European Union and the Commission when working together with member states can really work for the good of its citizens.”

Another important achievement according to Dr. Dalli, was the establishment of a portfolio dedicated to equality and said that in her view, this portfolio gives a concrete and strong direction as to where the European Union is moving, and how it will continue to develop in the future. .

Dr Dalli announced that she would be proposing a new law by the end of the year to address the issue of gender-based violence after the Commission had already published five strategies covering all aspects of the work needed to be done in this area.

“We cannot obtain the ratification of the Istanbul convention on domestic violence on the basis of gender. I will be proposing other legislation even though for me the Istanbul convention is the Gold Standard, it is best that we could have, it came about during the Maltese Presidency, but it only exists on paper. A convention needs signature and ratification. The Commission will now make its own law. ”

Commissioner Dalli said that today’s virtual conference on the future of Europe, held to mark Europe Day, was a clear example of how European citizens can have their say on European issues and what they want for the future of Europe. Dr Dalli said this day should not be just a celebration of an idealistic concept on paper.

The Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr. Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, took part virtually in the launch of this conference, which was held at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg. In a statement from the Government it was stated that Maltese citizens will be involved in this discussion process to draw up the Joint Declaration on the Conference for the Future of Europe, to which Malta is a signatory.

In a message on the occasion of the opening of this conference, President George Vella said that Malta should suggest how the Union should have a strong social policy, see to it that respect for diversity is achieved and at the same time make a commitment to make the Union more resilient, fair and sustainable in the years to come.