Smallest EU country takes over EU presidency with ambitious agendaTuesday, 03 January 2017 19:15
A system with three member states (“trios”) working closely on long-term goals and a common agenda was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. Each country prepares its own detailed six-month programme. The current trio consists of the presidencies of the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta.
Malta will be followed by another small country, Estonia, which is replacing United Kingdom because of Brexit. Estonia is part of a trio with Bulgaria and Austria.
During its six-month presidency, Malta will focus on 6 priorities: migration, single market, security, social inclusion, Europe's neighborhood and maritime sector. Migration and security are common concerns in all EU but some of the priorities and their concrete objectives are clearly linked to Malta’s geostrategic location in the Mediterranean Sea.
Malta aims among others at strengthening the Common European Asylum System, revising the Dublin Regulation, ending roaming charges throughout Europe, continuing action on combating terrorism and improving participation of women in the labour market.
In EU’s Southern Neighbourhood, Malta wants EU to work with the stabilization of Libya and ensuring that the democratic transition in Tunisia remains on track.
In the maritime area, Malta will put forward a proposal for an International Ocean Governance framework.
David Casa, a Maltese MEP (EPP) said in an interview that security and migration must remain at the very top of the EU's agenda. “I am hopeful and expect that greater focus will be placed on the general situation in the Mediterranean region as the overall security and illegal migratory routes remain a huge challenge which needs to be tackled decisively.”
Another MEP, Miriam Dalli (S&D), said that the biggest challenges will be the latest political developments in Europe, including Brexit, and the elections in EU countries that can change the dynamics of the European Union. “Priorities during the presidency certainly include progress on the European immigration policy. We need an asylum system that ensures solidarity and dignity in relocation.”
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will give a concert on 16 January at Bozar, Brussels, to mark the start of the Maltese Presidency.
The Brussels Times
The federal government has given the go-ahead to postal company, bpost, to once again make a distinction between priority and…
Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 will now be authorized to consume wine and beer, but not spirits…
Belgium’s federal government is taking steps to protect consumers from unscrupulous providers of GSM games and SMS pay services.
The Brussels Government has given the green light for the launch of the 2018-2020 call for tenders for projects to…