Malta will hold the EU Council Presidency from January 2017 to June 2017.
More information about the Maltese EU Council Presidency can be found online.
Priorities of the Maltese Presidency
Malta, which joined the EU in 2004, is the smallest EU Member State with a population of approximately 423,000 inhabitants (0.08% of EU Population) to take over for the first time the EU Council Presidency from Slovakia, from the 1st of January 2017 to June 2017.
Malta had established a 18 months working programme with previous Presidencies of Slovakia and the Netherlands covering the period from January 2016 to June 2017 giving the possibility to set priorities on the agenda.
Malta’s priorities for its Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first semester of 2017, will focus on identifying measures and initiatives to boost investment across Europe, with a particular focus on Mediterranean countries in six main fields: migration, single market, security, social inclusion, Europe’s neighborhood (security and prosperity) and maritime policy.
Migration: implementation of existing measures at European level and ensure the equal distribution of migration between member states, by strengthening and reforming the Common European Asylum System, revise the Dublin Regulation, setting a “fully-fledged European agency” and “promote sustainable investments in Africa and the neighborhood and to tackle the root causes of migration”.
Single market: in order to help the economies, businesses and consumers, emphasis is put on EU Legislation, the development of a Digital Single Market (putting to an end the roaming charges) and on an Internal Energy Market. Mobilizing private investments by ensuring the continuity of the European Fund for Strategic Investments is a priority to ensure growth and jobs.
Security: ensuring the security of citizens against terrorism and international crime activities, through better management of the migratory flow of EU’s external borders and with the creation of an EU travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and through “coordinated criminal justice cooperation across borders”.
Social inclusion: through close consultation with social partners, civil society and citizens, emphasis is put on measures to ensure gender equality, the protection of rights of minorities, the fight for gender-based violence and social inclusion in the labour market.
Europe’s neighborhood: the neighborhood policy will mainly focus on Southern Mediterranean countries, referring to the EU Global Strategy. A major attention will be given to the stabilization of conflicts in Libya and Syria, to support negotiations of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as to Tunisia. Emphasis will also be put on further engagement with the League of Arab States and with the Gulf cooperation Council. Furthermore, the EU will concentrate on the Eastern neighborhood cooperation concerning Russia and Ukraine.
- Maritime Policy: based on the EU Integrated maritime Policy, the presidency will focus on the Blue Growth Initiative, improving the international ocean governance framework and supporting sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors driven by innovation and commercial activities in order to increase competitiveness and employment.
In any event, FOUR PAWS European Policy Office wishes Malta all the best for its presidency of the Council and invites Malta to welcome more animal welfare initiatives, following the good work of the previous presidencies of the trio.
More information regarding the priorities of the Maltese Presidency can be found online.