Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that despite Malta’s success, which had even outstripped some other European countries, the EU had to keep on helping Malta maintain this success through the continued supply of cohesion funds.
Speaking during the ‘Friends of Cohesion’ summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, Dr Muscat, accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia, said that this message was being heard loud and clear within the European Commission.
He referred to European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger – who was also present at the summit – who had made the continued supply of cohesion funds a priority within the EU budget.
Dr Muscat said that given the choice between faring poorly as a country and getting plenty of EU funds, and becoming a wealthier and more prosperous country, but receiving fewer EU funds, the choice was clear.
“While we continue to prosper, create more jobs and growth, the EU needs to maintain us with an acceptable level of EU funds which will help sustain further growth.
EU commission plans indicate that Malta stands to lose out on some €179 million in EU cohesion funds.
According to the plans, Malta could receive around €673 million in said funds for the 2021-2027 period, a reduction of around 24 per cent, though that figure could even be lower, around €597 million if funding is locked at 2018 prices. For the 2013-2020 period, Malta had negotiated nearly €800 million in said funds.