• MEUSAC ARTICLE
  • 11 Years of EU Membership

  • On May 1, 2004, Malta joined the EU in what is 

    considered to have been the largest ever enlargement 

    in the EU’s history. 


    EU membership has strengthened Malta’s geopolitical relevance and resulted in political, economic and social benefits as well as new opportunities emerging from the increased opportunities that membership offers to the smallest Member State, in particular through its being part of the Single Market. With EU membership, Malta’s position in the Mediterranean has also acquired greater meaning in promoting dialogue and cooperation in the region. 


    EU accession also led to Malta joining the Schengen area in 2007, thus abolishing internal border controls with the other Schengen countries, while simultaneously strengthening external border controls with non-Schengen states. On January 1, 2008 Malta became part of the euro area – an economic and monetary union of 19 EU Member States that have adopted the euro as their common currency. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of EU membership has been that of weathering the storm of the economic and financial crisis. Malta is today registering above-average growth in the euro area, and unemployment remains well below the euro area average.


    Malta is also facing some challenges within the EU. One salient issue is that of migration and the way it has been addressed by the EU as a whole. The recent tragic events in the Mediterranean and the decisions taken by EU leaders at the special European Council meeting on April 23 seem to offer glimpses of a change of direction in the EU’s resolve to address human smuggling and trafficking in a united manner.


    One is also conscious that the ‘one size fits all’ ethos of the EU may have caused some problems as well for certain sectors in Malta since not all Member States have the same characteristics. In “Malta’s EU Story How Ten Years of EU Membership have changed the country” (June 2014) the Today Public Policy Institute point out that two sectors which have been negatively impacted are agriculture and the environment, chiefly due to the fact that they could not cope with the fast pace of modernisation necessitated by EU membership.


    On another note, however, participation in the EU institutions and fora has been a success. Malta exerts influence in the European Council and the Council of Ministers as an equal partner with 27 other European countries. Malta’s six members in the European Parliament are also very active and over the years have succeeded in influencing the EU agenda on issues that concern Maltese citizens. Maltese nationals appointed to other EU institutions and bodies have contributed to the development and implementation of policies, laws, initiatives and programmes, both at EU and national levels. 


    With the recently launched Operational Programmes of EU funds for the period 2014-2020, Malta can look forward to benefiting from millions of euro injected in the different sectors of the Maltese economy after having maximised on the millions of euro during the previous EU programming periods.


    Through consultation structures within the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC), successive governments have, over the years promoted and strengthened social and civil dialogue in Malta. Prior to EU accession, MEUSAC was the forum for government to consult with stakeholders on Malta’s position in the accession negotiations. Reactivated in 2008, MEUSAC has established itself as the focal point for consultation on EU policy and legislation and in assisting NGOs and local councils in tapping EU-funded opportunities.


    MEUSAC looks forward to continuing to translate EU membership into opportunities that benefit civil society and the citizens.






Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (Malta)
General Headquarters
“Dar Reggie Miller”
St Thomas Street
Floriana FRN 1123
Malta

Email: info@uhm.org.mt
Telephone: (+356) 2590 5000



LANGUAGE

   
Issue 53 - April 2015

click here to know your rights as an EU citizen





  • MEUSAC ARTICLE
  • 11 Years of EU Membership

  • On May 1, 2004, Malta joined the EU in what is 

    considered to have been the largest ever enlargement 

    in the EU’s history. 


    EU membership has strengthened Malta’s geopolitical relevance and resulted in political, economic and social benefits as well as new opportunities emerging from the increased opportunities that membership offers to the smallest Member State, in particular through its being part of the Single Market. With EU membership, Malta’s position in the Mediterranean has also acquired greater meaning in promoting dialogue and cooperation in the region. 


    EU accession also led to Malta joining the Schengen area in 2007, thus abolishing internal border controls with the other Schengen countries, while simultaneously strengthening external border controls with non-Schengen states. On January 1, 2008 Malta became part of the euro area – an economic and monetary union of 19 EU Member States that have adopted the euro as their common currency. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of EU membership has been that of weathering the storm of the economic and financial crisis. Malta is today registering above-average growth in the euro area, and unemployment remains well below the euro area average.


    Malta is also facing some challenges within the EU. One salient issue is that of migration and the way it has been addressed by the EU as a whole. The recent tragic events in the Mediterranean and the decisions taken by EU leaders at the special European Council meeting on April 23 seem to offer glimpses of a change of direction in the EU’s resolve to address human smuggling and trafficking in a united manner.


    One is also conscious that the ‘one size fits all’ ethos of the EU may have caused some problems as well for certain sectors in Malta since not all Member States have the same characteristics. In “Malta’s EU Story How Ten Years of EU Membership have changed the country” (June 2014) the Today Public Policy Institute point out that two sectors which have been negatively impacted are agriculture and the environment, chiefly due to the fact that they could not cope with the fast pace of modernisation necessitated by EU membership.


    On another note, however, participation in the EU institutions and fora has been a success. Malta exerts influence in the European Council and the Council of Ministers as an equal partner with 27 other European countries. Malta’s six members in the European Parliament are also very active and over the years have succeeded in influencing the EU agenda on issues that concern Maltese citizens. Maltese nationals appointed to other EU institutions and bodies have contributed to the development and implementation of policies, laws, initiatives and programmes, both at EU and national levels. 


    With the recently launched Operational Programmes of EU funds for the period 2014-2020, Malta can look forward to benefiting from millions of euro injected in the different sectors of the Maltese economy after having maximised on the millions of euro during the previous EU programming periods.


    Through consultation structures within the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC), successive governments have, over the years promoted and strengthened social and civil dialogue in Malta. Prior to EU accession, MEUSAC was the forum for government to consult with stakeholders on Malta’s position in the accession negotiations. Reactivated in 2008, MEUSAC has established itself as the focal point for consultation on EU policy and legislation and in assisting NGOs and local councils in tapping EU-funded opportunities.


    MEUSAC looks forward to continuing to translate EU membership into opportunities that benefit civil society and the citizens.













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Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (Malta Workers’ Union),
Dar Reggie Miller, St Thomas Street,
Floriana FRN 1123 Malta

Telephone:   (+356) 2590 5000
Email:   info@uhm.org.mt
www.uhm.org.mt