MCESD Social Partners briefed on the EU agenda during discussions with members of the European Commission and the EESC, focusing on Malta’s interests.

During an MCESD Council Meeting, a specially invited delegation from the European Commission engaged with the MCESD’s social partners.

The social partners introduced themselves to the delegation, emphasising their diverse sectors and providing a comprehensive overview of their societal representations. Acknowledging the challenges currently faced by Malta, the delegation aimed to foster a direct and constructive dialogue. This meeting provided a platform for the social partners to voice their concerns, engaging in a focused discussion and exchange of views directly with the European Commission delegation.

Key issues highlighted to underscore Malta’s priorities encompassed inflation and its impact on workers and families, developments in technology, support for Malta amid geographical challenges, including the effects of the ETS scheme on Mediterranean countries, particularly Malta, aimed at reducing emissions, and access to single markets, crucial for micro-island states like Malta. The influence and effects of climate change, supported by priority actions to decarbonise the national economy, were also discussed.

Following the European Commission delegation, the Maltese members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) were invited to join the MCESD Council. The objective was to update the MCESD social partners with the Committee’s functions in discussions about Malta and to establish more direct collaboration with EESC members, contributing to European-level issues and challenges relevant to Malta.

Representatives from EESC Malta hail from the Unions, Employers, and Civil Society sections, all holding positions in the MCESD Council. The EESC Malta Representatives include Stefano Mallia and Doris Sammut, representing the employers; Prof. Philip von Brockdorff and Jason Deguara, representing the unions; and Ben Rizzo, representing civil society.

Prof. von Brockdorff delivered a presentation to the social partners, outlining the Maltese EESC delegation’s contributions to shaping the EU agenda. Emphasising the EU’s current focus on environmental and technology leadership, he noted the shortage of adequately skilled researchers in AI, posing a challenge within the EU. The presentation also underscored the importance of collective agreements in fortifying the economy, enhancing the capital market union for increased investment, and implementing more efficient screening of foreign investments. The New European Industrial Strategy, The Next Generation of EU Own Resources, the Green Transition, and its effects on low-income households were also discussed.

The social partners raised various matters with the EESC representatives, including industrial relations transformation and the significance of manufacturing, especially micro-chips and high-value manufacturing. Discussions also focused on Malta’s position within the EU and how the potential inclusion of these new member states might affect it in light of the impending inclusion of Moldova and Ukraine. Emphasis was placed on Malta’s competitiveness within the EU and the global marketplace, aligning with the EU’s competitive strategies.

The MCESD meeting was chaired by Perit David Xuereb. During this Council Meeting, he also highlighted the reason behind inviting all MCESD Council members and participants to wear a blue ribbon bearing a moustache symbol in support of the Movember campaign. Acknowledging the importance of raising awareness about men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and overall men’s health, Xuereb underscored the significance of this initiative.

The presentation can be accessed here.