PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER: Speaker An?lu Farrugia attends the 4th Summit of Speakers of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean

Speaker Anglu Farrugia participated in the 4th Summit of Speakers of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, currently under the Italian Presidency. The summit was hosted by the Italian Senate.

Addressing Presidents of European and Mediterranean national parliaments, Speaker Farrugia said that the topic chosen for this year, namely employment, inclusive growth, and sustainable development, gathers three distinct yet interrelated tools for the development of a resilient and strong Euro-Mediterranean region. On this note, the Speaker highlighted that employment can never be separated from a diversified education and the promotion of inclusive growth. Furthermore, as an overarching umbrella, sustainable development is crucial to ensure the right balance between present needs and the needs of future generations. Speaker Farrugia added that this is particularly important for a closed geographical area such as the Euro-Mediterranean region, which is already experiencing the negative effects of climate change and pollution.

Speaking on the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Speaker emphasised that Malta, whilst keeping the Mediterranean dimension at the forefront, identified a number of priorities that directly relate to both the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and also to the UfM Road Map and Plan of Action. Furthermore, the Parliamentary Dimension of the Presidency aimed to foster dialogue and promote cooperation at a parliamentary level and, together with other national parliaments, address issues of common concern. In the past months the Parliamentary Dimension held a number of meetings and directly addressed issues related to migration, security and terrorism, the European Neighbourhood, the economic and social impact of climate change, poverty and social inclusion, the blue economy, and maritime affairs. The last meeting falling under the Parliamentary Dimension of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU is the 57th COSAC Plenary Session, taking place in Malta between 28 and 30 May 2017.

Concluding, the Speaker welcomed the opportunity to exchange best practices to address challenges and threats, yet he also augured that the conference would find time to discuss opportunities for the region and together reignite the common Euro-Mediterranean project.

The 4th Summit of Speakers was also addressed by the President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso, the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, the President of the Italian Council of Ministers Paolo Gentiloni, and the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together the 28 European Union Member States and 15 countries from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It provides a unique forum to enhance regional cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Source: Government of Malta