Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Anti-corruption activists gathered on the periphery of Castille Square as leaders from seven EU Member States met in Malta for the sixth Southern EU Countries Summit hosted by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The themes that dominated the Summit included, migration, climate change and the EU Budget.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed their full solidarity with Cypriot President Nicos Antastasiades as tensions continue to rise between Cyprus and Turkey.
However as the leaders addressed the press the anti-corruption activists in the background who equipped with percussion chanted “Justice for Daphne”, “No to corruption” among other chants. The leaders who were expected to walk to the Grand Palace for dinner were instead whisked away in their vehicles.
In a statement issued later, Occupy Justice said that they were there reminding the head of states in attendance that no independent inquiry into the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was initiated, despite the numerous reports published on Malta. The anti-corruption activists referred to the latest one by PACE’s special rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt. The activists further stated that they wanted to remind them that “impunity still reigns in Malta, and that passports are still being sold to people known only to government”. Occupy Justice said that they wanted to remind them a government MP planned “exploit the summit to lobby ‘against Pieter Omtzigt'”.
This was sent today to the heads of state and government meeting Joseph Muscat in Valletta:Mr Emmanuel Macron,…
“Timing of the summit is crucial” – Muscat
Muscat opened the roundtable discussion with an address where he described the timing of the summit as “crucial” explaining how those present needed to be part of the decisions being taken about the future of the European Union. This was the first summit following the European wide elections which elected new representatives for the new European Parliament legislature. “The EU is expected to, and should, play a meaningful global role by stimulating stability and growth,” Muscat said.
He described Malta as a “bridge between Europe and Africa” describing its position as “perfect” to act as an interlocutor for debate on regional issues. Adding that ‘there can be no peace and stability in Europe, without security and stability in the Mediterranean’, as he quoted the Mediterranean Chapter of the Helsinki Final Act which was signed in 1975.
In his address, Muscat underlined that their work should be guided by a set of principles which would include putting the EU’s social agenda at the forefront. He also spoke about economic growth, and the need to create more and better jobs, citing innovation, creation and development, among others.
Muscat stressed that their work should be intensified so as to implement the objectives the countries agreed to in the Paris Agreement. He also spoke of putting energy security as a priority, saying that ‘a well-connected Mediterranean region is a precondition for a fully functioning energy market’.
‘Instability in Libya is a direct threat’
Muscat said that the call of the leaders attending the summit, is one for a ceasefire. The leaders also urged the United Nations to ensure a full and comprehensive cessation of hostilities is a first step in the long process of rebuilding Libya. Muscat commended the work of the Libyan Coast guard.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the need to look at a more permanent mechanism in migration which is based on a balance of responsibility and solidarity. Adding that it is ‘crucial to ensure that all vessels operating in the Mediterranean respect the applicable international law’.
Muscat welcomes 6 EU leaders as South EU Summit kicks off
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat welcomed the leaders of six EU Member States to the 6th South EU Summit which convened in Malta on Friday.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Cypriot President Nicos Antastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez are in Malta for the sixth summit. The delegations started arriving at 4.00pm, with Muscat addressing the leaders later.
Muscat and Macron in bilateral talks
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron at the Office of the Prime Minister in Valletta were the two held a bilateral meeting.
Migration and the situation in Libya dominated the talks prior to the South EU Summit. Muscat voiced his concerns about the deteriorating situation in Libya describing the country as an “important neighbour”.
Muscat and Salvini discuss migration on the eve of the Summit
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini discussed migration in the Mediterranean in a phone call. In a statement issued on the Italian Interior Ministry website, it was stated that the aim was to strengthen the common strategy on smuggling, as well as prevent further loss of life in the Mediterranean sea.
In particular, both Salvini and Muscat shared the need to continue the collaboration aimed at supporting the Libyan authorities to strengthen their abilities to carry out rescue at sea and to control borders
In particular, Salvini and Muscat shared the need to continue the collaboration aimed at supporting the Libyan authorities to strengthen their abilities to rescue at sea and to control borders.
Both reiterated the need for concrete and tangible answers in terms of preventing departures, as the new European legislature is about to start. According to the statement, to achieve such goal, ‘one needs to work with the countries of origin and transit, to combat the root causes of migration and traffickers, in particular prevent the influx of irregular migration and enforce repatriation,’ in line with the Valletta Declaration.