Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela addressed social partners for the first time since his new appointment during the MEUSAC-MCESD joint Core Group meeting held on February 3, 2020 which discussed the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The meeting also focused on the European Commission’s priorities tied to the European economic semester.
Minister Abela said that the Government is giving social partners’ proposals more priority than ever before.
He said that he will see that both MCESD and MEUSAC will be given the resources needed to improve on their services.
During his address, he spoke about the industrial revolution 4.0. which will further bring to the fore technology in our lives.
“We need to work hand in hand to understand the impact this technology could have on workers, businesses and the economy in general. We all have the responsibility to understand how advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) for instance, would do this. He added that there are a number of other topics that are of importance in social dialogue and that will also be given priority, including equal pay and sustainable development in each and every sector.
On the European Semester, Minister Abela highlighted that this provides a base for the coordination of economic politics in the EU as a whole as this process gives Member States the opportunity to discuss economic plans and budgets, while the EU oversees this progress of each Member State every year.
He added that social partners have requested that an MCESD working group is set up in a bid to ensure that social partners are consulted in the process that leads to the Country Specific Recommendations known as CSRs, as they would like to contribute more in this regard. In order to bring about further collaboration, Ms Alexia Zammit, a representative from the European Commission Representation office in Malta, was invited to today’s meeting to listen and answer to any queries from social partners.
During the meeting, MCESD chairman John Bencini congratulated Minister Abela on his new appointment as Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for social dialogue, sustainable development and implementation of the electoral manifesto. He continued by emphasising the importance of equal pay for equal work and the gender pay gap, which will be given priority during this year’s MCESD discussions. He also thanked Minister Aaron Farrugia and Minister Edward Zammit Lewis for their work in the last few years which helped strengthen social dialogue.