PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR THE EU PRESIDENCY 2017 AND EU FUNDS: Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg meets European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

During the meeting, Ian Borg outlined the priorities and the final preparations of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council and explained that Malta’s aim will be to provide a meaningful contribution to the European process.

Ian Borg made reference to the issue of social inclusion which is one of the Maltese Presidency’s overarching priority areas. The Presidency will work on the legislative dossiers as well as the non-legislative proposals on the European Pillar of Social Rights. Ian Borg stated that the Maltese Government will continue supporting discussions on measures eliminating challenges hindering women’s economic independence and continue to give prominence to combating gender-based violence.

During its Presidency, Malta also looks forward to working with the European Parliament and its members to reach agreements on as many issues and files as possible. In this regard, Parliamentary Secretary Borg stated that the strengthening of relations with the Members of the European Parliament and political groups are key to the success of the Maltese Presidency.

Discussions also focused on the implementation of the European Social Fund in Malta. A total of Euros 112 million of EU funds were allocated to the 2007-2013 ESF Programme. The ESF allocation was complemented by an additional Euros 19.7 million in national co-financing. Parliamentary Secretary Borg explained that as a result of the investment under the 2007-2013 programming period, the ESF in Malta has supported over 20,500 individuals, representing 11% of the Maltese employed population, bringing them closer to the labour market. The investments were led by different public organisations, including Voluntary Organisations and Civil Society Organisations.

As regards the Operational Programme 2014-2020, entitled ‘OPII – Investing in human capital to create more opportunities and promote the well-being of society’, this has an allocation of Euros 106 million of EU funds (European Social Fund). Ian Borg explained that, to date, three calls for proposals have been issued, addressing areas of employability and adaptability, social inclusion, education, training and lifelong learning and institutional administrative capacity. In conclusion, Parliamentary Secretary Borg said that this operational programme is effectively contributing towards Malta’s development, and generating growth and employment by funding projects in important economic sectors.

Source: Government of Malta.