PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Objectives being achieved by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU

Malta, at the helm of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, is working together with other countries to achieve its stated objective of REUnion, bringing the EU closer to its people. Testament to this is the efforts that Malta is making to promote Cohesion Policy across the EU.

At the General Affairs Council presided by the Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds, Dr Ian Borg, council conclusions were presented on how Cohesion Policy should be promoted and what measures are needed to make Cohesion Policy more visible amongst EU citizens.

Between 2007 and 2013, one million jobs were created through the Cohesion Policy projects across the EU. The Policy supported 120,000 start-ups and around 400,000 SMEs; new roads and railways were built, and other infrastructural projects of major importance were carried out.

Addressing the press conference following the conclusion of the General Affairs Council, Dr Ian Borg said, EU Cohesion Policy is obviously a very successful policy. It helps to create jobs, stimulate growth and makes the life of millions of European citizens easier. What EU cohesion policy lacks is visibility. That is why the Council today agreed on further efforts to show how cohesion policy improves European citizens’ daily life and working conditions.

The General Affairs Council adopted two legislative acts; to end wholesale roaming charges across the EU as from 15th June 2017 and to facilitate the introduction of 5G technology across Europe through the exclusive use of the 700MHz frequency by mobile operators. The Maltese Presidency hard work has come to fruition as these two acts are tangible results that will affect every citizen in the European Union. Furthermore, Malta’s work to conclude these two pieces of legislation as stipulated, demonstrates Malta’s commitment to bring the EU closer to its citizens.

Meanwhile, the General Affairs Council welcomed the agreement reached on EU support for disaster stricken regions. EU support to regions affected by natural disasters, will increase from the current 50% to 90%.

Source: Government of Malta