(3-6.04.17) The anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the triggering of Article 50 by the United Kingdom after the Brexit referendum, presidential elections in France; Malta took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in turbulent times.
Migration, security, single market; these are just some of the priorities that the Maltese Presidency has identified to tackle the current problems of the EU. The European Parliamentary Association contributed to bring the debate on these priorities to Strasbourg, by hosting the “Days of Malta”, a series of initiatives which brought together a unique audience, made of MEPs, diplomats and members of the civil society.
The Days of Malta started with a kick-off evening on Monday 3 April, which was welcomed with enthusiasm by over 140 members of the diplomatic corps and of the civil society of Strasbourg. The event began with the projection of the film “Malta: Cruise in the country of knights”, which gave the participants the opportunity to discover and appreciate the cultural richness and beauty of the smallest EU Member state. Right after, the Maltese Ambassador, Joseph Filetti, and the Maltese Honorary Consul, Eric Mayer-Schaller, inaugurated the exhibition “Malta – 7000 years of history”, which offered the numerous guests an insight into the history of the country and its links with the Alsatian Region. The evening ended, then, with a buffet of Maltese specialties and an delicious cocktail tasting of the APE’s partner, the renowned Alsatian “Distillerie Massenez”.
On Thursday 6 April, Ambassador Joseph Filetti, Permanent Representative of Malta to the Council of Europe, participated in our traditional breakfast meeting to discuss with our members about “Southern Neighbourhood Policy”. This is one of the priorities of the Maltese presidency and a vital issue for the EU at the moment, as the instability in the countries on the southern coast of the Mediterranean sea impacts directly on migration flows towards our continent.
Once again, our “Presidency Days” were welcomed with great interest and showed even and increasing participation rate compared to our previous editions. This was an important signal, that gives us the confidence to do even better.
We will be back in October, with the “Days of Estonia”!