EU underscores need to address institutional shortcomings

The Commission has recommended to Malta that it completes reforms addressing current shortcomings in institutional capacity and governance to enhance judicial independence.

The Commission raised this issue yet again in the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) published today, providing economic policy guidance to all EU Member States in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The CSRs focused on the most urgent challenges brought about by the pandemic and on relaunching sustainable growth.

Two objectives

The recommendations are structured around two objectives: in the short-term, mitigating the coronavirus pandemic’s severe negative socio-economic consequences; and in the short to medium-term, achieving sustainable and inclusive growth which facilitates the green transition and the digital transformation.

The Commission recommended that Malta continues its efforts to adequately assess and mitigate money laundering risks and to ensure effective enforcement of the anti-money laundering framework. It recommended the stepping up of actions to address features of the tax system that facilitate aggressive tax planning by individuals and multinationals.

Strengthen the health workforce

In line with the general escape clause, the Commission recommended that Malta takes all necessary measures to effectively address the pandemic, sustain the economy and support the ensuing recovery. “When economic conditions allow, pursue fiscal policies aimed at achieving prudent medium-term fiscal positions and ensuring debt sustainability while enhancing investment,” said the Commission It also encouraged the strengthening of the resilience of the health system with regard to the health workforce, critical medical products and primary care.

Consolidate work arrangements

The Commission advised the consolidation of short-time work arrangements and ensure the adequacy of unemployment protection for all workers. It also spoke of the need to strengthen the quality and inclusiveness of education and skills development.

Finally, with an eye on the future, the Commission recommended focusing investment on the green and digital transition, in particular on clean and efficient production and use of energy, sustainable transport, waste management, research and innovation.