PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Parliamentary Secretary Dr Ian Borg closes the ECON Seminar organised by the Committee of the Regions

During his address, Dr Borg said that Malta attaches importance of having policies aimed at reducing disparities between various regions in the European Union. Small size, distance and vulnerability are the main factors which define island regions as least favoured regions, and which constitute permanent challenges to their economic and social development.

During its Presidency, Malta has been aiming to promote the reality of islands in the EU and to place the challenges islands face at the centre of the European agenda. Dr Borg stated that during the Maltese Presidency the objective is to portray the challenges faced by these regions and identify possible solutions with a view to ascertain that they can benefit from the same level of socio-economic development as other regions within the Union.

There is a need for specific and tailored measures to be put in place to enable islands to contribute to inclusive growth within the EU. Parliamentary Secretary Borg reiterated that in order for these regions to remain competitive, they tend to develop different approaches to be in a position to keep up with the social and economic development of other regions in continental Europe.

Dr Borg concluded by making reference to Cohesion Policy as a central tool for the realisation of European Union objectives. Whilst Cohesion Policy is increasingly being seen as an investment policy, it is important that the debate on Cohesion Policy should also continue to place emphasis on its goal of reducing disparities between regions and to achieve social, economic and territorial cohesion.

Source: Government of Malta