PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Parliamentary Secretary Dr Ian Borg participates in a panel discussion during the third Interregional Forum

During the debate, Dr Borg said that the Interreg Europe (IE) programme aims to improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs and European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes. In fact, the 4 Priority Axis selected for the IE Programme address the current socio-economic conditions and environmental state prevalent in the Euro-Mediterranean basin. Dr Borg remarked that on local grounds, the electoral manifesto of the current legislature gave utmost consideration to these socio-economic-political issues and made sure that all policy decisions, substantiated by budget measures, shall be put in practice to address them in a holistic, coordinated approach.

One of the main challenges which the Euro-Med region faces on a daily basis is migration and Malta is no exception. Dr Borg affirmed that through cooperation on IE priorities, against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile international landscape, the Maltese Presidency and the IE programme are both contributing towards concrete progress on proposals that address regional and global challenges, while upholding the values that underpin the very existence of the Union.

When asked about Malta’s strengths and how Malta can benefit from interregional cooperation, Dr Borg argued that both the EU and neighbouring countries need to join forces and work hard together to exploit opportunities emanating from such interregional cooperation activities. In fact, Malta boasts of good relationships with all neighbouring Mediterranean countries and EU member states. Malta’s potential as an international actor, can foster dialogue among different cultures but can also take sides when this is deemed necessary.

Malta is already participating actively in three Territorial Cooperation Programmes, including the Interreg Europe Programme by means of the involvement of 12 Maltese entities in 11 projects. Malta’s participation in the current Programme builds upon its predecessor, the Interreg IVC Programme, under which Malta participated in 23 projects touching upon an array of thematic areas such as waste, water, tourism, cultural heritage, the environment, energy, climate change, SMEs and ICT, consequently leaving a positive imprint in several relevant sectors.

“Malta hopes to continue strengthening its cooperation with all the countries participating in the Interreg Europe Programme and to benefit from this interregional cooperation in all fields of expertise,” concluded Dr Borg.

Source: Government of Malta