On the occasion of Europe Day celebrated each year on 9 May, Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta and Europe Direct Valletta organised an installation in Triton Square themed, ‘The European Union united against COVID-19’. The installation looks at the European Union’s role in the recovery of numerous sectors from the pandemic which has offered a challenge to member states to work with each other to find common solutions.
The installation also promoted the Conference on the Future of Europe – an exercise which will be launched on 9 May for European citizens to provide their views on what kind of Europe they want in the coming years.
During a press conference, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela spoke about the government’s role for Maltese citizens to do their part in building the Europe of the future. Among thesure was the launch of SEM last March which will play an important role during the Conference on the Future of Europe.
He also mentioned how during the years, the European Union impacted youths, students, workers, travellers, businesses, and many more and this is reflected in the support towards freedom of movement by European citizens, the highest in 12 years. This shows more than ever that citizens want to voice their opinions and do their part in creating the future of the EU. The conference offers an opportunity for this to be done, the minister explained.
He added that there are a number of challenges, such as migration (both irregular and the need for third-country workers), the economy and work in the light of a global pandemic, security, terrorism, and also the role of the EU in the region and the world.
Finally, the European project must put in its centre the people and the institutions are there for the people by improving the quality of life of European citizens including Maltese citizens through its endeavours, concluded Minister Abela.
SEM Chief Executive Mandy Falzon explained that the agency provides updated information about the EU and how this affects citizens, organisations and enterprises, whilst also assisting organisations to benefit from about 30 different programmes of European funds, whilst also involving citizens in meetings and public dialogues, sessions with children and also through continuous dialogue with social partners.
The Head of the European Commission Representation in Malta Dr Elena Grech mentioned how European citizens can contribute their ideas and efforts so that the Union remains relevant and alive. This is the aim of the conference, to provide a debate of consultation with citizens where everyone has a say.
Dr Mario Sammut, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Malta, added that the European Parliament was one of the principal promoters of the conference since people demand solutions and a better quality of life from the European institutions.