“Europe must be a force of openness both internally and within the global context,” Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said during his address to the Together for Europe summit held in Warsaw yesterday. The event was organised by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to celebrate the 15-year anniversary since 10 countries—including Malta and Poland—joined the European Union (EU) on 1st May 2004.
He cited the single market as being the biggest achievement of the European project, and warned that there are forces which are trying to tear it apart. “Forces who want to tamper with the four freedoms which are the founding principles of the EU. And we must do everything we can to safeguard them.”
The ‘four freedoms’ include the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour and, Dr Muscat continued, “whilst there are some pressures in some of these areas, they are the principles that all of us [EU member states] subscribe to, and we must work together to sustain them.”
He also spoke about the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), commending the work done in this area by both the European Commission and those who are friends of cohesion. “The MFF should not simply be an accounting exercise of numbers, but more of priorities, and of a vision of where we want to take Europe.”
The Prime Minister finished by calling for EU countries to be more understanding of each other. “We are one big family, with members coming from different parts of Europe, with different histories. Whether we joined in 2004, before 2004, or after, we are all Europeans. We are all equal member states. And we are all stronger together.”
Prime Minister Muscat was accompanied by Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli.« Back