European Commission is understanding Malta should remain entitled to European funds – PM
The day after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat attended a summit during which he discussed the issue of European Union cohesion funds, Dr Muscat explained the economic arguments and statistics being presented by Malta to the European Commission in order to continue to benefit from European funds.
This explanation was given during a MEUSAC meeting before the Prime Minister attends a summit of European leaders which is expected to be dominated both by negotiations about financial perspectives for the European Union’s seven-year budget as well as by final decisions on Brexit.
During a meeting with the social partners at MEUSAC, the Prime Minister explained the stand to be taken by Malta during next month’s European Council meeting.
Regarding the financial allocation for the European budget for the years 2021-2017, which is currently being negotiated, the Prime Minister insisted that Malta is presenting its arguments to remain entitled to European funds.
Dr Muscat stated that “they have understood our argument. At the end of the day, this is not a decision that will be taken by one country or by the Commission, between Malta and the European Union, but by all the 27 member states.”
The Prime Minister stated that Malta’s economic situation is growing in a consistent manner, and the Maltese level of living is getting closer to that of Europe. Dr Muscat explained that when Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia joined the European Union, statistically Malta appeared to be a richer country, as these countries’ Gross Domestic Product is less that that of Malta.
Dr Muscat stated that the Maltese Government is insisting that the European Commission should consider this reality when it comes to allocating the budget for the next seven years. The Prime Minister added that until agreement is reached by next year, one should be cautious before declaring a victory.
Referring to Brexit, Dr Muscat stated that one has to await the vote in the British Parliament, adding that whatever the outcome of the vote, Malta wishes to remain friends with and close to the UK.
Dr Muscat added that “we would like to assure Britons residing in Malta that we have no intention of asking anyone to leave, and we wish to make our country the most post-Brexit British-friendly country.”
Referring to the Maltese in the UK, the Prime Minister stated that the Maltese Government, together with the European Commission, as every other Government is doing, is seeing how the Maltese living or studying in the UK do not end up in a limbo.
The Prime Minister praised the model adapted by MEUSAC during public consultation meetings it organised to analyse the closeness between European Union citizens. Dr Muscat urged constituted bodies to go down to the roots when they organise discussions, to ensure the analysis is not detached from reality.
MEUSAC Head Dr Vanni Xuereb stated that as a result of the ‘Għid tiegħek dwar l-Ewropa’ (Have your Say on Europe) consultations, it appears there are categories, like farmers, who are not satisfied with Malta’s membership of the EU, and who want to be given more attention.
ARA: Mhu se nkeċċu lill-ebda Ingliż minn Malta wara Brexit – il-PM