PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES The strengthening of the European Union debated at the Economic Forum

“We are vociferous on the need for the European Union to rediscover its sense of mission and focus on the delivery of its policy decisions and on key issues of the day, so to truly and tangibly improve its citizens daily lives and address their legitimate concerns. This is the only way the Union can regain the trust of its citizens.”

Foreign policy and the changing topography of the European Union was one of the themes explored in the first plenary session of the 29th edition of the Economic Forum, in which Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Chris Cardona participated in a panel discussion themed ‘The Europe of Tomorrow: ‘Strong’ meaning what?’ reviewing the EU’s current limitations and the incumbent critical time for its redefinition.

The Economic Forum held in Krynica, Poland, is an annual international meeting of political and business leaders attended by 4,500 guests from Europe, Asia, USA, and Middle Eastern countries.

Currently, a major issue for the European Union is the discussion on the push towards changes to a decision-making system that can reflect the plurality of the EU member states, but that also proves to be nimble enough to address specific challenges in a timely manner. In this regard, the entertaining of a proposed qualified majority vote system for foreign policy decisions is being explored a proposal that would reduce the relative weight of smaller member states, like Malta, to streamline foreign policy decision discussion of strengthening the EU.

“In foreign policy, there are constitutional issues that must be taken into account. We are therefore amongst the group of member states which is not very keen on such changes and that unanimity should continue to be used when deciding on particular policy areas that fall within the remit of sovereign states.”

Retaining sovereignty in areas like taxation or foreign affairs is crucial for countries like Malta a country with geographical and permanent structural limitations – to attract foreign direct investment or benefit from economies of scale.

“A European Union that works for everyone, that strengthens the EU in a limited number of areas so to truly deliver, while acknowledging the individuality of member states is fundamental for the EU’s sustainable future,” insisted Minister Cardona. Minister Cardona stated that this is also of benefit to the EU in general since, in some cases, we are attracting investments that make the EU more globally relevant and ahead of its competition in areas like technology.

Accompanying Minister Cardona in the panel discussion were other representatives of member states, a candidate member and two external observers from the OSCE and the Hudson Institute, namely Piotr Glinski, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Poland, Margareta Cederfelt, Vice-President, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Sweden, Zeljka Cvijanovic, President of the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

and Robert Spalding, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute in Washington DC.

Source: Government of Malta

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES The strengthening of the European Union debated at the Economic Forum

“We are vociferous on the need for the European Union to rediscover its sense of mission and focus on the delivery of its policy decisions and on key issues of the day, so to truly and tangibly improve its citizens daily lives and address their legitimate concerns. This is the only way the Union can regain the trust of its citizens.”

Foreign policy and the changing topography of the European Union was one of the themes explored in the first plenary session of the 29th edition of the Economic Forum, in which Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Chris Cardona participated in a panel discussion themed ‘The Europe of Tomorrow: ‘Strong’ meaning what?’ reviewing the EU’s current limitations and the incumbent critical time for its redefinition.

The Economic Forum held in Krynica, Poland, is an annual international meeting of political and business leaders attended by 4,500 guests from Europe, Asia, USA, and Middle Eastern countries.

Currently, a major issue for the European Union is the discussion on the push towards changes to a decision-making system that can reflect the plurality of the EU member states, but that also proves to be nimble enough to address specific challenges in a timely manner. In this regard, the entertaining of a proposed qualified majority vote system for foreign policy decisions is being explored a proposal that would reduce the relative weight of smaller member states, like Malta, to streamline foreign policy decision discussion of strengthening the EU.

“In foreign policy, there are constitutional issues that must be taken into account. We are therefore amongst the group of member states which is not very keen on such changes and that unanimity should continue to be used when deciding on particular policy areas that fall within the remit of sovereign states.”

Retaining sovereignty in areas like taxation or foreign affairs is crucial for countries like Malta a country with geographical and permanent structural limitations – to attract foreign direct investment or benefit from economies of scale.

“A European Union that works for everyone, that strengthens the EU in a limited number of areas so to truly deliver, while acknowledging the individuality of member states is fundamental for the EU’s sustainable future,” insisted Minister Cardona. Minister Cardona stated that this is also of benefit to the EU in general since, in some cases, we are attracting investments that make the EU more globally relevant and ahead of its competition in areas like technology.

Accompanying Minister Cardona in the panel discussion were other representatives of member states, a candidate member and two external observers from the OSCE and the Hudson Institute, namely Piotr Glinski, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Poland, Margareta Cederfelt, Vice-President, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Sweden, Zeljka Cvijanovic, President of the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

and Robert Spalding, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute in Washington DC.

Source: Government of Malta