PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg addresses the EESC Group III Extraordinary Meeting

Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg said that the biggest and most persistent challenge of all is bringing the European Union closer to its citizens, whilst addressing the EESC Group III Extraordinary meeting in Malta.

As a Union we have somewhat failed to communicate to our citizens as – generally speaking – Brussels remains detached from their needs and daily concerns, Dr Borg said. He emphasised on the need to put communication at the centre of the Union’s programme, so as to present a clear and honest picture of what the proposals, discussions and conclusions really mean to the man in the street.

Dr Borg also reflected on sixty years ago – when six countries gathered in Italy to sign the Rome Treaty, which would then give birth to the European Economic Community. This eventually flourished into the European Union – from six member states forming part of a Single Market, in the spirit of a union – to a community of twenty-eight member states, with room for more.

Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg said that it was our duty as representatives of the citizens to bring the EU closer to their homes, to expose the work we have been doing and to give the citizens the opportunity to criticise, to question, and to appreciate the opportunities, whilst remaining fully aware of what exactly can be of benefit to themselves, to their families and to their jobs. Dr Borg insisted on the need to instil a sense of hope and optimism amongst our citizens, which can only be achieved through positive and determined action; through hard work and through perseverance. In this aspect, the EESC had a very important role to play as it can precisely serve as a direct link between the EU and its citizens.

”Let us continue to work for those who put their faith in us; we must not fail them – indeed, let’s make them proud”, concluded the Parliamentary Secretary.

Source: Government of Malta