GAC meeting discusses possible extension to the UK

Malta supports the European Commission proposal for the upcoming Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 to include provisions that encourage Member States to reduce emissions further and invest in the transition to a low carbon economy. This was stated by the Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli at the General Affairs Council meeting yesterday.

Minister Dalli stated that while Malta welcomed the commitment for climate mainstreaming, targets need to be realistic to ensure tangible and positive results. Minister Dalli emphasised the importance of considering Member States’ specificities and allowing them the necessary flexibility to tailor investment to their unique circumstances. In this regard, she referred to the Malta’s recent shift from heavy fuel oil in power generation to LNG which brought a substantial reduction in emissions as an example of how a policy shift brought positive results.

Referring to migration, Minister Dalli recalled that the European Council called for flexible instruments on migration that allow for a quick disbursement of funds to combat illegal migration. She added that the comprehensive approach to migration should not be undermined, and reiterated Malta’s position for a comprehensive reform of the Common European Asylum System.

The General Affairs Council also met in Article 50 format to discuss the latest updates on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, including the granting of a possible extension to the UK.

Minister Dalli also participated in a meeting on the Periodic Peer Review Mechanism, an initiative led by Belgium and Germany to strengthen the rule of law in European Union member states. This initiative, the general principles of which Malta supports, aims to introduce an annual periodic peer review mechanism which complements the provisions in the treaty on dialogue regarding the state of the rule of law.  During this discussion Minister Dalli noted that Malta attaches importance to such discussions and that similar mechanisms in the UN could be best practices to model this exercise on.

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