The Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) organised a business breakfast with the theme 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗗𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘂𝗲: 𝗖𝗼𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀.
Upon MCESD’s invitation, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Christa Schweng attended and participated in this business breakfast accompanied by the head of cabinet Mr Markus Stock.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Dr Andy Ellul also attended and participated in this business breakfast. The social partners and the civil society committee were also in attendance.
The Chairperson of MCESD Mr James Pearsall in his introductory speech, said that MCESD has strived hard during the years to forge the joint effort of unions, employers and the government so to have a solid base on social dialogue. Thus, social dialogue is a vital instrument in inspiring confidence and strengthening respect for and use of the mechanisms of social dialogue for both National and EU-related issues.
The EESC President Christa Schweng, stressed the link between MCESD and its European counterpart, the EESC. She spoke about the importance of the committee network which allows the sharing of best practices among members and allows for expressing different perspectives ensuring a rich debate.
Amongst the current issues, she referred to the Ukraine war and the ensuing migratory crisis in the EU, effecting mostly women, children and vulnerable. In this respect, EESC supported EU decision to grant candidate status to the Ukraine. Ms. Schweng also spoke about the current energy situation and the EU’s policy of achieving global climate goals without creating too much burden. She stressed on the importance of building a more resilient EU economy to face supply shortages, inflation, and other crisis.
The President highlighted the importance of cooperation between the EESC and the National ESCs across the European members and the intention to launch an online space to enable the exchanges of ideas. It is felt that this initiative is of strategic importance to enable this network to discuss common interests and strengthen cooperation.
During his intervention, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul said that Social Dialogue is crucial, especially in the current times. He referred to the effective way the MCESD operated during the pandemic, as the workers, employers and the government came together and agreed on a plan that saved thousands of jobs. He said that this same approach should be taken to overcome the challenges we have in front of us including those linked to the energy crisis.
The Parliamentary Secretary stressed that to address such challenges it is important to respect sustainable development and keep in mind social justice, especially for the most vulnerable. In this regard, he pointed out the need for more coherence between national social dialogue and European social dialogue.