The Malta Independent 16 April 2024, Tuesday
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Metsola says Malta can take leading role in European Union

Saturday, 18 March 2023, 18:28 Last update: about 2 years ago

President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said Malta can take a leading role in the European Union.

"We are part of the greatest Union of nations that history has ever known. Our island is at the table. We are at the head of that table. We Maltese are a people who understand that it is the size of ideas and the depth of integrity that will always triumph over the limitations of geography. Malta can lead.”

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The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said this as she addressed the sold-out Mabel Strickland Memorial Lecture ‘Malta in a changing European landscape’ in Valletta.

Addressing political leaders, diplomatic corps, the business community and the general public, President Metsola spoke about the values of the European Union, and about the tough decisions that must be taken as Europe faces challenges on multiple fronts.

Referring to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, President Metsola said that Europe will always stand for real peace with accountability and justice. “For there to be peace, there must be a free Ukraine. For there to be a European Union, there must be a Ukraine.”

She also insisted on the need for Malta and Europe to modernise.

“The EU’s recovery and resilience facility is exactly about that. As our societies and way of life have moved online, so must our businesses.” Here, she said that Gozo is uniquely suited for becoming a digital hub of Europe.

Calling for environmental investment, the President insisted that Malta should be at the top of the debate.

“We should be the poster child of a nation able to harness the potential of green vehicles for example. Generating cheap, clean energy. Lowering bills, cleaning our air. We can do that.”

On migration, President Metsola reiterated the European Parliament’s call for all players to step up.
“In the European Parliament we have agreed on a way forward on migration that is just and humane with those in need of protection, that is fair and firm with those who are not eligible, that protects our borders and that is strong with those traffickers preying off the most vulnerable and profiting from human desperation.”

President Metsola shared a similar message on Friday evening as she addressed more than 800 business leaders at the 175th Anniversary Malta Chamber Gala Dinner.

In her speech, she insisted that we must speed up investment to make Malta and Europe more competitive.

“NextGenerationEU funding is still ready and available. We need to foster private investments”.

Making reference to the green and digital transformation, President Metsola said that such a commitment will result in new jobs and economic growth.
“And Malta can become an incubator and eventually a leader in skills transformation,” she said.

Later in the day, President Metsola went to Gozo, where she met the Munxar Local Council, thanked entities who joined the European Parliament’s Generators of Hope campaign in Victoria, met representatives at the La Stella Band Club in Teatru Astra and of Leone Band Club at Teatru Aurora in Victoria, and also visited Il-Hagar - Heart of Gozo.

In Malta, she held talks with the Medical Association of Malta on the way forward for the health sector following latest developments on the hospitals concession deal.

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