Louis Grech addresses the European Parliament days before the signing of a European declaration in Rome and participates in the first meeting on the implementation of the Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2017

Minister for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto Louis Grech addressed a high-level EU Parliament debate together with the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. This debate covered the future of Europe and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The keynote speeches were followed by an intense debate amongst MEPs.

Louis Grech said that the Union is not about Brussels, Strasbourg or the institutions, but about the hopes, fears and aspirations of its 500 million citizens.

Minister Grech pointed out that European added value has to be tangibly translated into citizen added value. The Maltese Presidency’s principal objective is referred to as ‘rEUnion’: the creation and fostering of a climate in which the Union can once again regain the trust of citizens and secure a viable and sustainable future.

Louis Grech said that citizens need a Europe that embraces the social dimension and narrows the gap in financial inequality, promotes job creation and economic growth through the single market, shapes globalisation, practices the fundamental value of solidarity when it comes to issues like migration, and ensures safety and security.

“Europe will only be credible if it delivers on its decisions. In Rome, member states will re-affirm our commitment to a united Europe. But the declaration is not an end in itself, far from it. Any progress registered on the future of Europe must be followed up and translated into action,” said Louis Grech.

Minister Grech stated that European institutions need to draw on this momentum to galvanize and energize that unites rather than divides. “We believe in a better Europe, our youths believe in a better Europe, and we believe it has what it takes to move forward”, he concluded.

Representing the rotating Presidency of the European Council, Minister Grech also met European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to exchange views on monitoring the implementation of the joint declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2017, in a first of its kind meeting in a series of a tri-annual set.

The declaration signed on the 13th of December 2016 has as its aim the setting of an overarching scope to monitor at the political level the implementation of the joint declaration.

Following this meeting Louis Grech emphasised that this is a landmark in the co-operation between the three institutions on legislation that will enable them to work better and more effectively on important proposals.

“This meeting provided us with a good opportunity to have an open and constructive dialogue on the priority files and confirm the willingness to move important key files forward”, said Minister Grech.

Source: Government of Malta