PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: “We must work together in synergy to ensure that no citizens or residents in our countries are left behind”

The President launched the 13th meeting of Non-Executive EU Presidents Arraiolos Malta 2017. The 2017 Arraiolos meeting will be held in Malta on the 14th and 15th of September and will be hosted by Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca � the first President of Malta and the first female EU President to ever attend such meetings.

The thirteenth forum of the Arraiolos Group will be the biggest meeting to date. Thirteen presidents representing Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, and Slovenia will be discussing the present and future of social Europe and the management of security challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

The President said that her hope is that through this meeting, we shall become more sensitive and aware of the particular nature of our respective situations.

Each and every president will be more resolved to play our respective parts within the limitations of our powers to spread a strong message of solidarity and social justice across Europe, explained President Coleiro Preca.

The theme for this year’s forum is: ‘Crossing Borders’ – aimed at creating a frank and profound discussion at a time when Europe, like the rest of the world, has become more polarised on social-class and ethnic lines.

‘Crossing Borders’ is an invitation to the non-executive presidents of the European Union to reflect on how Europe can rediscover its core social values, reclaim its social model, and achieve higher levels of solidarity, fairness, and inclusion.

The presidents will explore how socially-responsible and ethically-driven governance at the community, local, regional, and transnational levels, can help disenfranchised, vulnerable European citizens, and marginalised residents, cross social and economic borders, to a more inclusive Europe.

During our deliberations, the President added, I am confident that social justice will feature prominently as a basic condition for Euro-Mediterranean security. The President also expressed hope that the Presidents will discuss cross-border mobility and challenges and opportunities faced by a troubled Mediterranean region.

The discussion on this overarching theme will be tackled in two parts:

The first discussion will be introduced and moderated by Professor Carmel Borg and is called: ‘Reclaiming Social Europe in the Shadows of a Global Predatory Economy’.

The second discussion will be introduced and moderated by Professor Stephen Calleya and is called: ‘Managing Security Challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean Area’.

The President thanked both professors for being a part of Arraiolos Malta 2017, as well as Carmel Briffa, Secretary to the Presidency and Diane Sladden, who have both been coordinating the Arraiolos Organising Team. She also commended the staff at the Office of the President and the secretariat for their participation in the Arraiolos Team over and above their normal duties.

The President also thanked the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry for Health, the Emergency and Casualty Department at Mater Dei Hospital, the Ministry for Finance, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security, the Armed Forces of Malta, the Police Corps, and the Civil Protection Department.

Since the first meeting in 2003, other Arraiolos meetings were held in Helsinki (2005), Dresden (2006), Riga (2007), Graz (2008), Naples (2009), Budapest (2011), Helsinki (2012), Krakow (2013), Braga (2014), Wartburg and Erfurt (2015), and Plovdiv and Sofia (2016).

Arraiolos Malta 2017 will be held at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Verdala Palace, and at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. Participating presidents will also have the opportunity to view some of Malta’s best sights and attractions as part of a planned cultural programme including visits to St John’s Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Source: Government of Malta