EU Commissioner Cretu describes Malta as one of the best ‘users’ of EU funds

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu described the use of EU Cohesion Funds in Malta as a way how EU citizens are tangibly experiencing European Solidarity. Ending a two-day visit in Malta and Gozo with a visit to the ongoing works at the Marsa Junction, Commissioner Cretu described this project as the most symbolic project, as it mirrors very good use of EU funds.

Whilst referring to other EU-funded projects she visited such as the Xewkija Industrial Estate in Gozo, Fort St Angelo in Birgu, the Kappara Junction, and the lower part of Valletta which will be regenerated in the coming months, the Commissioner noted that Malta is one of the best users of EU funds because the majority of the funds are allocated in substantial quantities that materialise in projects that significantly improve people’s standard of living.

Days ahead of the discussions about the Multiannual Financial Framework, Commissioner Cretu said that “this visit convinced me further that cohesion policy is needed now more than ever, to address the gap and disparities which we still have in Europe”.

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli remarked that the Cohesion Policy is where Europe is closest to the citizen – “the human face of the EU” – and Commissioner Cretu’s visit helps citizens realise how EU funds are improving their lives. Minister Dalli mentioned that the Commissioner met with various locals during her visit, which provided a unique opportunity to listen to what citizens had to say about Europe. “This is how we can reconnect Europe with its people”, said Dr Dalli.

Dr Dalli said she supports increased efforts towards implementing more effective communication actions at the level of the EU and the national level too, as this brings cohesion policy closer to its citizens in a concrete manner.

Minister Dalli also said that the Cohesion Policy has constituted an important driver for growth and development in the Maltese islands through the channelling of public funding in important investments, resulting in increased good quality jobs and a successful and growing economy.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia added that the Connecting Europe Facility CEF is intended to support one of the key principles and fundamentals of the European Union – the free movement. “CEF is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs, and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level”.

With regards to the Marsa Junction Project, the Parliamentary Secretary noted that Malta managed to get over and above the earmarked share of funds for Malta. This is another project that displays how Malta is using centralised funds to complement the European structural and investment funds that have won the hearts and minds of the Maltese towards the EU project.

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg described the Marsa Junction Project as a project that will reinvent Maltese infrastructure for years to come.

Earlier this week, Commissioner Cretu participated in a Citizens’ Dialogue in Gozo organised by the European Commission in Malta. The dialogue was moderated by MEUSAC Head Vanni Xuereb.

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