Last year, Malta managed to use the €242 million in European Union funds which were allocated to it from the budget that expires next year. Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Aaron Farrugia, stated that Malta has not lost one cent from its EU allocated funds.
The national contemporary arts museum – MUŻA – which was recently inaugurated with a €10 million investment; the Marsa junction which will cost €65 million and the Ta’ Qali crafts village regeneration with a value of €14 million are being carried out with co-financing of EU funds allocated to Malta for the period 2014 till 2020. The total funds reach over one billion and one hundred million euro (Funds allocated to Malta 2014-2020 – €1.12 billion).
Each year, during the seven-year period, the European Commission drafts the annual targets and encourages governments to spend their allocated funds in time so that they will not use any funds which are planned to be used for infrastructural, environmental and social projects, among others.
Asked by TVM if Malta had reached the targets for 2018, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Aaron Farrugia, said that the Government managed to make a very significant achievement and ensured that no funds are lost.
“We reached the disbursement targets for 2018 and Malta managed to spend €242 million by 2018; these went for projects that the Maltese and Gozitans can see and I am proud to say that Malta did not send a single cent back to Brussels”.
Dr Farrugia stated that the fact that Malta spent all its allocated funds puts the Maltese negotiating team in a stronger position so that Malta acquires a just package in the next budget. These negotiations are expected to be concluded by the end of autumn this year.
Aaron Farrugia said “this means we can go to the EC even in the negotiations which Malta has for European funds after 2020, and we go confidently because Malta did good work and the EC knows that the funds were used in time and wisely”.
For the Budget, which globally is expected to be decreased due to the UK’s exit, Malta is making pressure with the European Commission so that despite its economic progress in recent years, the EU does not reduce the financial allocation.