Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela addressed a meeting of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development which discussed a more effective report with the theme ‘MCESD for the social partners’, which was presented by EMCS Tax & Advisory on the initiative of the Chamber of SMEs under the leadership of Chief Executive Abigail Mamo with the participation of MCESD – a project which was co-financed by the European Social Fund. This report looked at ways and recommendations that can be put in place to make social dialogue in Malta more relevant and structured. The report was based on seven themes:
- MCESD to increase its awareness with the help of stakeholders of how to strengthen services;
- Strengthening trust between MCESD and stakeholders;
- Identify the most effective method for communicating with stakeholders;
- Increasing the relevance of social dialogue here in Malta;
- A report identifying the expectations of stakeholders for the future of the MCESD;
- Strengthening the function of MCESD;
- For a more visible and relevant MCESD.
Minister Abela insisted that the starting point is already a strong one, as government, representatives of workers and employers believe in the social dialogue. In this regard, he said that following the appointment of a new MCESD chairperson, it is now time to look at the operation of the MCESD. He noted that improvements have already begun to be made. This is because the MCESD is producing more research-based presentations which are written by different experts depending on the topic under discussion. The objective is to diversify the team of experts that contributes to the MCESD in order to always attract the best talent to make presentations. He said that the social partners are also receiving presentations ahead of the meeting so they have enough time to prepare.
In his remarks, Minister Abela added that the MCESD is looking at a step further, which is that of ensuring that the consultation carried out within has its effectiveness strengthened, where there are new ideas with solutions which can be implemented. “I want to see an MCESD with a relevance stemming from the topics we discuss, subjects relevant to the people, for today and tomorrow. Even though this is a Council that is legally consultative, but there must be a form of conclusion”, said Minister Carmelo Abela. He also mentioned some of the topics which are currently under discussion or study and said that these are of interest to workers, employers and society in general.
The minister also spoke how the national experience of recent months, in a challenging global pandemic situation, showed that thanks to honest, open and transparent consultation and dialogue, government and social partners managed to achieve multiple successes and results together. He mentioned how in discussions which he had with European ministers and others, it became clear how in those countries where there was a strong social dialogue, a lot of common good was achieved, as was done here in Malta. Minister Abela expressed his satisfaction at the maturity that is being shown in the discussions being held with social partners both in the MCESD, with other colleagues of the Cabinet, and also with the Prime Minister Robert Abela, where after each organisation presents its sectoral interests, at the time of the decision, collective decisions were always taken.
Minister Abela thanked the administration of the MCESD led by Mr James Pearsall and all partners. “This is a Council which will remain relevant, effective in bringing change and results where necessary. Work must continue. With your effort and your, we will continue this change”, concluded Minister Abela.