PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg addresses the European Parliament REGI Committee Meeting in Brussels

During his speech, Parliamentary Secretary Borg highlighted the priorities of the Maltese Presidency, and made reference to the priorities Malta has identified in relation to the implementation of EU funding. Borg also explained how we can make the results of Cohesion Policy more visible to our citizens. In fact, he said that we need to start addressing the needs on the ground, so that citizens can see the results and understand the added value of the European Union; simplifying the policy for those involved in its implementation, whilst also developing a forward- looking policy that will address new challenges and innovative solutions.

Parliamentary Secretary Borg added that further efforts at simplifying the processes for the shared management of EU funding are needed. Simplification must be at the heart of these processes, and it must also be accompanied by a reduction in administrative burden, as well as more proportionality. Morever, we need to have a policy which can actually be implemented by our beneficiaries, including SMEs. We just cannot afford to continue having programmes that are heavily burdened by administration, or several layers of checks that often overlap and that are hampering and making the implementation process ever more cumbersome.

The Chair thanked Parliamentary Secretary Borg for highlighting the priorities in relation to the Cohesion Policy, and assured that the Committee will work together with the Maltese Presidency to guarantee a more effective policy. Borg agreed that the joint work of the Council and the European Parliament is key in order to have results on the ground in the best interest of the citizens.

Given the deficit that exists between ‘what we are actually doing’ and the perception of citizens we feel that now, more than ever, we should focus on bridging the gap between the Union and its citizens in a tangible manner concluded Parliamentary Secretary Borg.

Source: Government of Malta