Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds Dr Ian Borg visits the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy

During his visit, Dr Borg thanked the Joint Research Centre (JRC) for actively collaborating with the Maltese Presidency in the areas of research and space. In fact he said that the working breakfast meeting held by the Maltese Presidency together with the JRC as well as with the Research Working Party meeting held in February served as a good opportunity for Member States’ representatives to discuss the work taken up through the Smart Specialisation Platform and the results being obtained through the ‘Stairway to Excellence’ initiative.

He noted that discussions have been initiated with the JRC in the past weeks under the Maltese Presidency and will thus serve as useful input for the upcoming political debates on the interim review of Horizon 2020 and the future Commission proposals on the new 9th Framework Programme. Malta will also be holding the JRC Malta Young Scientist Award and proposals from interested young scientists will start being received in the coming days. Dr Borg expressed his optimism that the five young scientists chosen from Malta will benefit from an excellent experience when they visit the JRC Ispra site in May/June 2017.

Parliamentary Secretary Borg also made reference to the future of the European Union and said that last week’s Rome Declaration signature by the EU Heads is an opportunity to evaluate the Union and chart the way forward. He said that now we need to work towards a Union that is safe and secure, prosperous and sustainable, with an enhanced social dimension and with the will and capacity of playing a key role globally.

In his concluding remarks Dr Borg said that although it has been challenging to preside over the Council and represent it, we feel that we’re doing a good job. The next step is to ensure that what it is agreed, is then implemented, for citizens to feel the effect and added value of our decisions. This is the only way we can ensure the sustainability of our Union and its credibility globally.

Source: Government of Malta