Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi has stated that Malta is expecting a fair agreement on the multi-annual financial framework and the recovery fund in order to address issues which affect it. The Parliamentary Secretary was speaking during the Council for General Affairs, which saw Ministers for European Affairs meet via videoconference.
This meeting was called in order to finalise preparations for the European Council scheduled for Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July. The aim of the European Council is for agreement to be reached between member states on the multi-annual 2021-2027 financial framework and the recovery plan to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, based on the proposal by the President of the European Council.
Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi remarked that in recent years Malta has experienced strong economic growth and a substantial reduction in the rate of unemployment. The Parliamentary Secretary stated that Malta should not be penalised for developments in regard to the recovery fund, but rather, this should serve as an incentive for more growth. Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi further stated that even more, whilst the needs of island states have been reflected in the latest proposals, other issues have still not been resolved.
Regarding the financing aspect, the Parliamentary Secretary emphasised that Malta has long-existing sensitivities regarding elements proposed in the discussion. Further talks on these elements at this stage can potentially impact on the timely conclusion of these negotiations.
The Parliamentary Secretary concluded that faced with these challenges, Malta will remain positive as always and is ready to compromise. It is necessary, however, for the agreement to be a fair one.