Seven EU leaders meet in Valletta for Southern EU States Summit

The leaders of Cyprus, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Spain, convened in Valletta for the sixth Summit of the Southern EU Countries. In a news conference outside Castille in Valletta, PM Joseph Muscat said leaders spoke about climate change and carbon neutrality, the social and economic pillars, migratory pressures on Southern states, and the support pledged by all the seven states towards Cyprus on the Turkey situation.

Earlier, Dr Muscat said: “Being an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, and a bridge between Europe and Africa, Malta has always been perfectly placed to act as an interlocutor for debate on regional issues”, Prime Minister Muscat said, noting that the aim was to coordinate ways to work together, recorded in the official declaration signed after the summit.“The timing of this summit is also crucial”, the Prime Minister said as he opened the round table discussions, stating how those present needed to be part of the decisions being taken about the future of the EU. “The EU is expected to, and should, play a meaningful global role by stimulating stability and growth.”

Quoting the Mediterranean Chapter of the Helsinki Final Act signed in 1975, that ‘there can be no peace and stability in Europe, without security and stability in the Mediterranean’, the Prime Minister said this remains a priority for the EUMed7 alliance till this day, especially in a less stable world.

“Our work needs to be guided by a set of principles that will shape the future of Europe in the world. Principles which include putting the EU’s social agenda at the forefront of the region’s work, to further promote gender equality and LGBTIQ rights.”

He said economic growth, which leads to more and better jobs, must also be at the centre of the alliance’s policies. “Which is why our region needs to be at the forefront of innovation, a hotbed for the creation, development and roll-out of emerging citizen-centric technologies, designed to enhance socio-economic wellbeing.”

The leaders also signed the Valletta Declaration.

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