The building of a more resilient and forward-looking trade policy is at the centre of a planned review of the EU’s Trade Policy. The revision was discussed during an online meeting of the MEUSAC Core Group, chaired by the Minister for Social Dialogue, Carmelo Abela. The presentation was delivered by Mr Godwin Mifsud, Director-General of the Department of Economic Policy and Mr David Sammut, Director of the International Political Economy, on behalf of the Ministry for Finance and Financial Services.
The consultation on the EU Trade Policy revision is based on:
· Building a European economy which is more resilient and sustainable;
· The creation of new commercial opportunities, particularly for SMEs;
· Intensifying the contribution of commercial policy to address pressing challenges, such as climate change and the digital transition;
· Improvement of equal conditions in the Single Market and the protection of businesses and citizens in the EU.
Minister Abela noted that the ultimate aim of the revision is not only to increase commercial and investment opportunities with the rest of the world, but to ensure that Europe has sounder and stronger economic growth across the board, which in turn leads to the creation of more employment opportunities and a better standard of living for all.
Participants noted that further consultation is needed on various aspects of the post-COVID economy, to assess the real impacts of the pandemic and how to best move forward, not only in terms of the trade policy revision but also in the context of the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. Participants also spoke of the importance of prioritising the green economy and ensuring a more level-playing field where SMEs can properly participate in economic activities.
During the Core Group meeting, Director for EU Funding within MEUSAC, Dr Darren Grasso, delivered a presentation on Call IV of the European Social Fund (ESF), which focuses on inclusive societies and strengthening institutional administrative capacities. Participants were encouraged to make use of MEUSAC’s services on assistance to apply for EU funding.