The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

European investments

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 9 September 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 12 days ago

Essentially the expenditures of the European Union consist of investment commitments for projects that are intended in some way to improve the running of the European single market. How these funds get distributed among member states (the same which after all provide the contributions that they are constituted of) is determined on the basis of years of practice, of negotiations and of developments in the setting of European priorities.

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With time, socially based criteria were introduced. Formerly economic, financial and political criteria would prevail in the distribution decisions. Later still, environmental considerations entered the equation and became progressively more significant.  Today, as global climate warming has given rise to serious concerns, green criteria have penetrated all areas of how investment projects are designed and decided.

A long time ago, agriculture and industry would account for the greater part of European investments. Today much pressure has to be applied if they are not to lose even more of the smaller financial “cake” that is being allocated to them. For this to happen, proposed investments must be certified to be environmentally friendly; otherwise they get sidelined.

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A SECOND VOICE

It seems like the Opposition Party has finally understood it was being too negative on practically everything. They had apparently decided that only in this way could they keep on board their core supporters. What they did succeed in doing though was to keep close mostly to members of social strata who staunchly believe they have some divine right to rule.

Finally Opposition leaders realized they needed to present a narrative which opened up a valid perspective about the future. The problem has now become that they have fallen so much behind in moving along these lines that they are having to put forward many “proposals” all at once while at the same time providing the space where their candidates for the coming elections can show their faces. This is a flawed procedure which by its very lack of focus and rush, undermines all idea that a new and coherent vision is being established.

Meanwhile, the negative campaign has been left in the hands of second rankers who with their articles and gimmicks are more than anything else, likely annoying and putting people off.

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20 YEARS AGO

Twenty years ago, the World Trade Centre in New York was the target of  a spectacular and deadly terrorist attack. Simultaneously, two other strategic buildings in the US came under similar attack. Perhaps just as when President Kennedy was assassinated, we all or almost remember where we happened to be when this tragedy unfolded. Huge confusion spread world wide.

I was attending a parliamentary conference in Ougadougou, capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa. The conference immediately adjourned and was cancelled. Many airlines suspended their international flights and all of a sudden, Burkina Faso was completely isolated.

The Italian government sent a military jet to bring the Italian parliamentary delegation back home. They kindly offered passage to the Maltese delegation and on the day following the attack we reached Rome flying there directly from Ougadougou. 

                         

 

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