Gozo in the MCESD Spotlight: Strategic Proposals by Social Partners and the GRC

In an MCESD council meeting called by the Gozo Regional Committee (GRC), the MCESD social partners and GRC members discussed current concerns and suggested strategies to shape a future for Gozo that balances socio-economic growth with environmental sustainability. Chaired by MCESD’s Chairperson, Perit David Xuereb, and attended by the Minister for Gozo and Planning, Hon. Clint Camilleri, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue, Hon. Andy Ellul.

Mr. Joe Borg, the Chairperson of the Gozo Regional Committee (GRC), highlighted the meeting’s key role in addressing the progress needed to make Gozo a better place for its residents. He stated, “Gozo should indeed be a beacon of new and sustainable development, making it a better home for us, just as it should be for Malta.” Mr. Borg thanked all the social partners for their participation, stating, “Your presence here today demonstrates a true commitment to enhancing our environment.”

In a presentation, Mr. Daniel Borg and Professor Alex Torpiano, representing the GRC, outlined key initiatives to manage the sustainable development of Gozo. They emphasised the importance of architectural design that preserves the natural topography, materials, textures, and aesthetic of Gozitan towns and villages, highlighting the need to protect key architectural features to rationalise positive visual impact.

Prof. Torpiano also discussed Gozo’s environmental, historical, and social strengths while identifying challenges such as uncontrolled development. He underscored the necessity for robust planning policies to protect beaches and urban centres and advocated for stronger climate change initiatives, including increased biodiversity efforts and the adoption of sustainable practices like rooftop gardens.

During the meeting, MCESD’s social partners offered key strategic suggestions for Gozo’s economic and social advancement. Proposals included Gozo’s natural environment, which is supported by high-tech solutions like achieving carbon neutrality and positioning Gozo as a leader in sustainable technology. The partners emphasised the development of agritourism to diversify the economy and engage visitors with Gozo’s rich and qualitative agricultural heritage. Additionally, they stressed the need for Gozo’s tourism offerings to be more sustainable and for a robust strategy to protect its invaluable historical sites, ensuring that Gozo’s cultural legacy is preserved for future generations. The social partners advocated for a comprehensive national strategic plan for both Malta and Gozo, addressing key areas to benefit both islands.

Minister Camilleri explained that the main objective of the Ministry is to ensure economic and social prosperity in Gozo while respecting the island’s unique characteristics and making the Maltese islands a desirable place to live. Parliamentary Secretary Andy Ellul emphasised the importance of ongoing dialogue between the government and social partners for the benefit of Gozo. He reiterated the crucial role of the MCESD in meeting with Gozo’s social partners to ensure continuous progress in key areas of sustainability.

The meeting served as an opportunity for social partners to voice their strategies for Gozo’s progress, emphasising the importance of a holistic approach that benefits both Gozo and Malta. The commitment to ensure that Gozo’s development remains sustainable and preserves the island’s unique identity was echoed by all participants.

  • Access the presentation on ‘Gozo as an Economic Model for the Whole Nation’  here.
  • Access the presentation on ‘Setting the Context’ here.