Von der Leyen hails Malta’s recovery plan ‘the most environmentally friendly approved plan in the EU”
The European Commission has officially approved the recovery and resilience plan of the Maltese Government known as the Next Generation EU amounting to € 320 million.
During a brief visit to Malta, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, described the Malta plan as one of the most environmentally approved plans by the European Commission to-date.
The Prime Minister, Robert Abela, said that these funds will continue to improve the quality of life of the people while strengthening the rule of law in Malta.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the European Commission approved the recovery and resilience plan presented by the Maltese Government two months ago with funding of € 320 million from European funds.
Von der Leyen explained that more than half of the funds will go to environmental purposes which, among other things, she said would lead to reforms in the field of construction. .
A quarter of the approved funds are intended for a more digital society, with the President of the European Commission saying that they would improve the operation of various areas including the field of justice. Von der Leyen pointed out that these projects will improve the efficiency and independence of the Courts while strengthening the fight against corruption and money laundering.
“The reason why I am here today is that I am happy to announce that the European Commission has decided to give its green light to the Malta’s resilience and recovery plan. It follows indeed a very good cooperation by our teams. A thorough assessment by the Commission and the reforms and the investments it foresees accelerate the green and digital transitions in Malta”, said Von der Leyen.
The Prime Minister, Robert Abela, said that the Maltese Government considers the issue of climate change as a crucial area for the future of the European Union and mentioned that the Government was planning to switch to electric buses.
The Prime Minister said that the Government would continue to strengthen democracy and the rule of law also to protect journalists in the performance of their duties. Dr Abela said that in the coming days the Government would introduce a bill on SLAPP designed to protect freedom of expression.
Dr Abela said the Government would continue to incentivize people to buy electric vehicles. He explained that for these changes to take place more charging points needed to be installed. The Prime Minister said that all these projects are intended to improve the quality of life of the people against the backdrop of next year’s budget.
“Malta looks ahead at 2022 with the lowest unemployment rate in its history. The highest employment rate ever and the strongest quarterly investment and economic growth rate so far. Our objective is not just to react to the pandemic. Rather, we aim to embark on a long-term plan that leads to a better quality of life to our citizens”.
The next step is for the funds to be approved by the European Council so that these projects can be implemented by Malta and the rest of the member states.
Asked about the citizenship by investment program, Von der Leyen said it was important to stop it because it would give access to the 27 member countries of the European Union.