SEM launches Malta’s role in the Conference on the Future of Europe

SEM launches Malta’s role in the Conference on the Future of Europe

Reference Number: PR210933, Press Release Issue Date: May 18, 2021
 
Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta have launched in Malta the Conference on the Future of Europe, in the presence of Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela.

The aims of the conference are to increase dialogue with European citizens as well as to strengthen European solidarity, and will be based on the principles of inclusivity and transparency.

Addressing the event, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo explained that the biggest challenge for the EU is to listen not just to those who will participate in the Conference on the Future of Europe, but also to those who will not, due to their anger and disillusion with the European Union.

In this context, he referred to Michel Barnier’s address to the European Parliament, when he stressed that BREXIT should not be seen as a failure of the United Kingdom but as a failure of the European Union with those who felt left out or forgotten by it. Such sentiments are not exclusive to the United Kingdom, the Minister added, but are common in other regions of the European Union.

Minister Bartolo concluded with the words of former Swedish Minister Allan Larsson, who had said that the first priority for the European Union should be the wellbeing of the people, not its own wellbeing. “If we look after the wellbeing of the people, namely through decent work, health, education and quality of life, we will also be looking after the good and the future of the European Union.”

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela spoke about a number of challenges facing the EU that need to be addressed, such as economic recovery after the pandemic, regular and irregular migration, security and terrorism, as well as poverty and social justice.

He also spoke about how European citizens expect actions that concretely protect them when most needed. This is something that has always been emphasised by the government, including in all the measures and incentives given to businesses and families during the pandemic.

Minister Abela concluded by encouraging Maltese citizens, also as European citizens, to come forward and give their views, opinions and suggestions about the future of the European Union and, after all, the future of themselves and their families. This is our chance as citizens, and we should take this opportunity.

SEM Chief Executive Mandy Falzon spoke about the national plan for the coming months, which consists of debates and discussions on themes such as the environment, the post-Covid economy, education, immigration and the role of Malta on Europe’s periphery. Civil society activities will be encouraged, whilst activities with Skolasajf students will be also taking place, so as to also involve them in this process.
Minister Evarist Bartolo addressing the press conference. 
 
Ministers Evarist Bartolo and Carmelo Abela during the press conference. 
Minister Carmelo Abela addressing the press conference. 
 
SEM Chief Executive Mandy Falzon addressing the press conference