European Funds and Artificial Intelligence on the agenda of the MCESD

The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, the Hon. Chris Bonett, introduced how the Euro 2.2 billion in European funds are to be invested. During the meeting, the Permanent Secretary for European Funds and Lands, Mr Jonathan Vassallo, provided an overview of the programming period of the EU Funds for 2021–2027. He highlighted the important role of the social partners and in particular clarified the objectives of the European Social Fund (ESF).

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett celebrated the importance of the consultation process with social partners. “This government listens and acts. We are simplifying the process so that more companies and people apply for European funds. We have to make European funds more accessible to people so that they can make their dreams and ambitions a reality,” said Dr Bonett.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon. Andy Ellul stated that, “We have to look at this topic with a strategic plan in mind, whereby every action needs to be part of a chain of actions which ultimately ensure that our country keeps moving forward. It is also our duty to make sure that this money is spent in the best way possible and in a sustainable way and we need to ensure that this European funding programme helps people and businesses, and also delivers on long-term objectives.”

All Social Partners made their case, primarily driving common interest in maintaining consultation relevant, valuable, timely and focussed.  In addition, the importance of investing these important resources efficiently and directing towards medium to long term national economic and social priorities, was a common ambition.

The presentation on the programming period of the EU Funds 2021–2027 can be accessed here.

The second part of the meeting was devoted to the economic and social implications of artificial intelligence (AI). Professor Alexiei Dingli explained about how AI is, and will continue to shape our society. He stressed that AI will not take over human jobs but someone who knows how to use AI will prevail. The social partners were keenly aware of how AI was impacting our society and our economy and motivated with the need to keep up with the latest developments in order to remain relevant and competitive.

The presentation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be accessed here.