Minister for Finance, Prof. Edward Scicluna held a series of bilateral meetings with the Italian Minister of Finance Pier Carlo Padoan, the Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Norway’s Minister of Finance Siv Jensen, as well as with Klaus-Heiner Lehne, President of the European Court of Auditors, on the margins of the ECOFIN Council and EURO group meeting. These meetings were held in Brussels on 7th and 8th November.
During these meetings, Minister Scicluna presented Malta’s priorities for its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017, which will focus on identifying measures and initiatives to boost investment across Europe, with a particular focus on Mediterranean countries.
The issue of Brexit featured in all bilateral discussions, with ministers sharing the view that the Brexit vote has created economic uncertainty across the EU, particularly in financial markets. While acknowledging these economic challenges, Minister Scicluna said that Malta will act in a fair manner, both during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as during the whole Brexit process.
The ECOFIN Council agenda included discussions on new Commission proposals on corporate taxation, adoption of the rules on access to beneficial ownership information, conclusions on the screening criteria for establishing a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, and other items.
Minister Scicluna was accompanied by Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU, and the Permanent Secretary for Finance Alfred Camilleri.