Gender equality mainstreaming must be a policy objective in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli reiterated Malta’s call for gender equality mainstreaming to be a priority and a policy objective in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027. Minister Dalli was speaking during the General Affairs Council meeting held today, in Luxembourg.

Malta believes that the EU budget should include measures that address gender inequalities in all spheres. The EU budget is an excellent tool that has contributed to social and economic development across Europe. The MFF can therefore also play a crucial role in contributing to achieving this aim. Minister Dalli also reiterated her calls about the need to protect the EU’s cohesion policy in order to address regional disparities.

This was the last in a series of debates on the MFF 2021-2027 held under the Romanian Presidency. The General Affairs Council will then continue discussions with a view of reaching an agreement before the end of 2019, as agreed to by leaders in the December 2018 European Council Conclusions. In this context, Minister Dalli made the point that in order to reach this target, further progress and compromise are needed in order to ensure that there are no delays.

Other matters on the agenda included discussions on the Conclusions on Enlargement, and Stabilisation and Association Process, which were focused mainly on the Commission’s positive recommendation for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and The Republic of North Macedonia.

In the absence of an agreement between member states on this matter, Minister Dalli stressed the importance of proceeding on a merits-based approach and sending a strong message to these countries, also as a matter of credibility for the EU.

Minister Dalli also made reference to the Valletta Declaration adopted last Friday in which the Southern Mediterranean EU member states expressed solidarity with Cyprus in the context of the current challenges with Turkey. The minister highlighted the importance of keeping a channel of communication with Turkey, noting that continued engagement can play a vital role.

The General Affairs Council finalised its preparations for the European Council scheduled for this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, which is expected to focus on institutional appointments, MFF, climate change, and external relations.

Source: Government of Malta