Malta outlines priorities for EU Council presidency

Written by Martin Banks on 17 November 2016 in News
News

Malta has outlined some its priorities for its upcoming EU Council presidency, its first since it joined the EU in 2004.

Malta will take up the EU Council presidency on 1 January 2017 | Photo credit: Press Association


Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday, Ian Borg, Malta's Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Council presidency, said social inclusion, migration and the single market will be high on the agenda, along with the maritime sector.

Borg was the keynote speaker at a pre-presidency briefing hosted by the European Policy Centre think tank at which Borg spoke of the "challenges" facing the Maltese presidency.

Malta's ultimate aim, he said, is to bring the EU "closer" to the people, saying that dialogue on the role of the EU will be encouraged


RELATED CONTENT


Borg said, "Malta, during its presidency, will encourage more vigorous debates amongst EU leaders on issues that are challenging the very existence of the bloc."

Fostering a "progressive approach" on social inclusion and issues such as gender equality in the labour market, will also be on its agenda for its six month stint at the helm of the EU.

In his speech, Borg stressed the need for a Europe-wide effort in helping refugees and those looking for a better life, saying Europe must also strengthen its borders in order to stabilise the European neighbourhood. 

The single market will be beefed up by placing a sharper focus on EU legislation that addresses the challenges faced by SMEs and consumers while the maritime sector as this is of "great importance given the fact that Europe is becoming increasingly more dependent on the sea."

EPC director of studies Janis Emmanouilidis said, "Malta will take over the presidency at a difficult period in European integration. In this situation, the Maltese presidency will have to play the role of an honest broker, aiming to find consensus and achieve agreements in the Council and also with the European Parliament. 

"Malta will have to deal with the many internal and external challenges related to migration, the fight against terrorism, modernising the single market, the package related to the review of the EU's multi-annual financial framework and, other challenges that the EU faces."

He added, "The EU has launched a process aiming to clarify how the Union should proceed in the years to come. Following the objectives laid down in the Bratislava declaration, the Maltese presidency will have to play a key role in offering citizens a vision of an attractive EU they can trust and support."

 

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Donald Trump arrives in Brussels
25 May 2017

US President Donald Trump arrived in Belgium on Wednesday to relatively little fanfare but with hopes high that his visit, his first overseas trip as president, could help heal EU-US relations....

MEPs demand crackdown on rule of law in Hungary
18 May 2017

Campaigners say that Parliament’s decision to launch a fresh crackdown on Hungary marks a clear red line on the protection of rights.

On Brexit, bottom lines and what Theresa May can learn from Mike Tyson
17 May 2017

Tony Blair's former chief of staff Jonathan Powell hopes to use his experience to secure a Brexit deal that works for business.

Related Partner Content

Peregrine falcon down-listing an opportune time to reflect on CITES convention
23 September 2016

The Peregrine falcon's down-listing is an opportune time to reflect on the CITES convention, writes Adrian Lombard.

Between EU and Eurasia: Which future for human rights in Armenia?
2 December 2015

Armenia's abrupt political U-turn, clearly imposed by Moscow, has interrupted a number of promising legislative processes in the field of human rights.