Originally set up during the negotiations leading to Malta’s accession to the EU to serve as a focal point which gave civil society and the social partners an opportunity to mould Malta’s position in various aspects of the acquis.
MEUSAC (the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee) was re-activated in 2008 and established as an agency in terms of the Public Administration Act (Cap. 497) by Legal Notice 154 of 2017.
has the following functions:
(a) to stimulate and lead a national debate on European ideals, values, objectives and long term strategies;
(b) to discuss the impact proposed EU measures could have on Malta, its institutions, its specific sectors and ordinary citizens through a structured consultation process and other initiatives;
(c) to establish and maintain dialogue between those participating in the EU decision-making processes;
(d) to provide support on EU programmes and funding;
(e) to disseminate EU-related information, seeking to ensure in particular that the public is well and adequately informed on Malta’s positions within the EU and its institutions as well as the rights Maltese citizens have as EU citizens.
(f) to steer a structured consultation process on EU policy and legislation with stakeholders;
(g) to provide EU-related information to stakeholders and to the public with particular emphasis on Malta’s position within the EU and its institutions as well as the rights Maltese citizens have as EU citizens; and
(h) to provide information and assistance on EU funding programmes, in particular by advising and assisting local councils and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to draw up and submit competitive project applications.
MEUSAC’s operations are led by a dynamic management team and a highly motivated and dedicated staff to ensure that the services offered are of the highest professional calibre possible.
The Head of MEUSAC ensures that the tasks enstrusted to MEUSAC by government are fulfilled. He has overall responsibility for all matters pertaining to the management and operations of MEUSAC. He is assisted by three Directors and a Manager, who lead teams of executives and administrative staff to provide services related to the functions of the Agency, namely: EU Funding; EU Policy and Legislation; Human Resources and Administration, and; Communications and Events.
Dr Xuereb is a graduate in Laws from the University of Malta, having submitted his LL.D. thesis in 1988 entitled “The Law Governing the External Relations of the European Communities – A Mediterranean Perspective”. He then pursued post-graduate studies in Advanced European Legal Studies at the College d’Europe in Bruges, Belgium in 1988-1989.
Dr Xuereb’s career has centred on EU affairs. He served as Legal Research Officer at the Permanent Delegation of Malta to the European Communities and as Legal Consultant on EU Law to the then Malta External Trade Corporation, now part of Malta Enterprise. He also practised as a lawyer, specialising in financial services and EU Law.
In May 2008 Dr Xuereb was entrusted with the task of spearheading the process for the re-activation of MEUSAC as an instrument for Government to consult with the constituted bodies and with civil society on EU-related issues, disseminate information, and provide support with regard to EU Programmes. In 2017 he successfully piloted the establishment of MEUSAC as an agency in terms of the Public Administration Act and oversaw its re-launch.
Dr Xuereb is a member of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) and of the Experts’ Forum of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). He is also a visiting lecturer in European Studies at the University of Malta.
On May 12, 2015, Dr Xuereb was created Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite of the French Republic in recognition of his role in bringing Malta closer to the European Union.
Ms Falzon graduated in European Studies in 2009 and obtained her Masters degree in European Studies in 2013. Between 2010 and 2012 she worked at the Office for Competition within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority where she was engaged in investigations, mergers and acquisitions, sector inquiries, management of EU-funded projects and the overall coordination of European affairs.
She joined MEUSAC as an executive in January 2013 where she was involved in drafting project proposals and providing technical advice to non-governmental organisations and local councils to tap into various EU-funding opportunities. Ms Falzon assumed the position of Director EU Funding on December 4, 2014.
Mr Portelli graduated in Social Policy in 2011. Following an internship period at MEUSAC, he joined on a full-time basis, initially working within Human Resources and Administration and eventually joining the EU Policy and Legislation team as an executive in January 2013.
Since January 2013, Mr Portelli has overseen a number of MEUSAC’s Sectoral Committees, was involved in the creation and setting up of a number of conferences and seminars, such as the series of events in 2017 on the Future of the EU, the implementation of a Management Partnership project between MEUSAC and the European Commission and the events on ‘Climate Change and Climate Action’ which had COP21 and its Aftermath as a theme.
Mr Portelli assumed the position of Director EU Policy and Legislation on January 29, 2018.
After graduating in Commerce in 2003, Mr Zammit joined the Maltese Public Service and worked as an Economics Officer at the Rural Development Department within the Ministry responsible for Rural Affairs where he was responsible for the administration of all the pre-accession schemes. He was later entrusted with responsibility for the administration of EU structural funds for Maltese agriculture and the technical assistance measure.
Mr Zammit joined the Forum Malta fl-Ewropa (FME) in 2007 as Funding Coordinator. When FME was absorbed by MEUSAC in 2008, he also assumed the role of Information Coordinator.
In 2011, Mr Zammit was appointed Director of Administration and Human Resources.
Mr Sciberras first joined MEUSAC in February 2009 as a Consultation Executive. In July 2012, he was appointed Manager, EU Policy & Legislation.
During such time, he was mainly responsible for facilitating consultation between government, civil society and other stakeholders on new EU policies and laws. On June 27, 2016, following an internal restructuring, Mr Sciberras was assigned duties as Manager, Communications and Events. In that role, he has taken a leading role in the dissemination of EU-related information by MEUSAC through the organisation and implementation of several events, communication measures as well as through the use of various media channels. He also currently coordinates the operations of Europe Direct Information Centre Valletta which is hosted by MEUSAC.
The Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs) is a network of some 450 walk-in offices, across the EU.
It is one of the main tools of the European Commission to engage with citizens on EU-related topics at local and regional level. The EDICs’ mission is to provide EU citizens with information about the EU, referring them to specialised information services and signposting to other services and networks. EDICs give information, advice, assistance, and answers to questions about the EU and, in particular, about the rights of EU citizens, the EU’s priorities, legislation, policies, programmes, and funding opportunities.
Additionally, EDICs stimulate debate through the organisation of conferences and events, and channel citizens’ feedback to the EU.
The Malta-EU Steering & Action Committee (MEUSAC) has been chosen by the European Commission to host the Europe Direct Information Centre in Valletta from January 1, 2018 and will run for three years.
The Europe Direct network is one of the main channels of information about the EU for European citizens with the overall objective of providing citizens with easy access to information about the EU and its activities. The centres are hosted within existing entities that guarantee a good geographical coverage as well as the necessary capacity and expertise to deal with EU queries from the public, direct enquiries to the best sources of information on EU matters and provide EU publications available for public dissemination.
A new feature of this dynamic generation is the ability to go the extra mile with their work programme, moving forward to a proactive approach where it engages with civil society, for example by organising Citizens’ Dialogues or being willing to do transnational pilot projects, bringing together EDICs from either side of a border.
The choice of the Europe Direct host organisations was made through a Call for Proposals launched in all EU Member States in 2017. Europe Direct Valletta is part of a network of about 450 EU information centres across the EU.