Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli and Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna participated in a high-level conference in Brussels on ‘Shaping our Future: Designing the Next Multiannual Financial Framework’.
The discussion focused on the challenges the EU faces in embarking on new initiatives, in the context of Brexit, and the ever-increasing costs to finance current and new initiatives across the EU bloc. It was organised by the European Political Strategy Centre, a think-tank of the European Commission, and was attended by other ministers and stakeholders from across Europe.
“Guaranteeing a successful future for the European Union requires a spirit of unity in discussions and agreement on the final Multiannual Financial Framework post-2020 by the EU-27 member states,” Mrs Dalli said.
“While acknowledging that member states tend to focus on their national perspectives in terms of EU budget, the challenges ahead of us require us, as EU27 member states, to prioritise the initiatives that will guarantee a sustainable future for the European Union.”
Mrs Dalli stressed that if member states believed wholeheartedly in the European Union project, they needed to strengthen the European Union’s initiatives through a stronger EU budget post-2020.
She highlighted the importance of the research, innovation, and education sectors in the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
Meanwhile, in an address on ‘Giving new impetus to completion of the Euro area’, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna stated that while now is the time to move forward with needed changes in Eurozone, one should be a pragmatist and not demand unavailable budgets for the stabilization function.
“A rainy day fund administered by a future European Monetary Fund should be a good start. Otherwise, we should complete the current road-map before embarking on a new one,” Prof. Scicluna said.