PM Joseph Muscat said that the current European Commission was one of the most effective and the next Commission will have a hard act to follow. He said once the new Commission is appointed, the EU budget covering the next 7 years should be given priority. He was speaking during the MEUSAC Core Group meeting held at the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, Auberge d’Aragon, Valletta ahead of the European Council meeting this month. Dr Muscat addresses the Core Group twice a year ahead of the European Coucil meetings.
Dr Muscat also said that much focus was being made on the names of potential candidates to fill the EU’s top jobs. But he added that the more important aspect was the policy direction the EU will be taking.
He said that at the next European Council, EU leaders will discuss the budget and revising regulations tied to incentives for industry to ensure that businesses do stay in Europe and investment is not pushed away from the European sphere.
On Brexit, he highlighted that at first he was a fan of helping the UK go for another referendum but today has changed his stance as “this will solve nothing”.
Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli highlighted that the Maltese Government is working to see that the European Union’s role is more effective, particularly through more Maltese nationals serving in European institutions. She said that the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, in conjunction with the Institute for European Studies within the University of Malta, is working towards this aim.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that it is vital that Malta does not lose its chance of having a number of Maltese nationals in the new cabinet of Commissioners so that Malta will have a stronger voice in the years to come.
He congratulated the newly elected Maltese MEPs and added that he will be inviting them to participate in the MEUSAC Core Group meetings.