Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta
MAKING THE EU MORE ACCESSIBLE TO CITIZENS,
CIVIL SOCIETY AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN MALTA
Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta – SEM was established as an agency in terms of the Public Administration Act (Cap. 595) by Legal Notice 445 of 2020 (S.L. 595.23).
SEM took over the functions previously carried out by MEUSAC and assumed new functions, mainly in terms of outreach and assistance in the implementation of EU-funded projects.
The new name has been chosen to reflect better the mission and functions of the Agency, namely to make the European Union more accessible to citizens in Malta and Gozo. The services of the new Agency will also make it easier to citizens to reap the benefits of EU membership. These can be summed up in three words:
INFORM – about the latest developments in the EU’s strategies, policies, legislation and initiatives, including related rights, obligations, benefits and opportunities, including EU-funding opportunities, to different sections of the population.
ENGAGE – organisations and interested stakeholders in the EU’s decision-making process by facilitating their feedback on EU policies and legislative proposals, and involve them in EU initiatives and actions that affect their daily lives.
SUPPORT – organisations in tapping into EU-funding opportunities by informing them of such opportunities, helping those who are interested in applying for available funds and guiding successful applicants in implementing their projects.
To be of service to citizens by keeping them updated on the EU’s strategies, policies, initiatives and obligations and engaging them to benefit from the rights and opportunities deriving from EU membership, including EU funding.
The Agency’s functions are defined by the legal notice which states that the Agency shall be responsible for the following:
(a) to inform and keep updated public and private organisations and citizens through various fora on the EU’s long-term strategies, policies, initiatives, obligations, rights and opportunities;
(b) to provide information and assistance on EU funding programmes, in particular by advising and assisting local government and private non-profit organisations to draw up and submit competitive project applications;
(c) to provide guidance to local government and private non-profit organisations on the implementation of EU-funded projects;
(d) to participate in MCESD meetings and provide in-depth updates on the long-term strategies and legislative proposals of the EU to social partners;
(e) to issue regular policy briefs and updates on EU legislative proposals and how EU legislation applies to citizens and organisations; and
(f) to create a network to facilitate communication with EU national contact points and information providers.
‘To be the leading agency in Malta that engages citizens in EU-related matters‘
The Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs) is a network of some 450 walk-in offices, across the EU.
It is one of the main tools of the European Commission to engage with citizens on EU-related topics at local and regional level. The EDICs’ mission is to provide EU citizens with information about the EU, referring them to specialised information services and signposting to other services and networks. EDICs give information, advice, assistance, and answers to questions about the EU and, in particular, about the rights of EU citizens, the EU’s priorities, legislation, policies, programmes, and funding opportunities.
Additionally, EDICs stimulate debate through the organisation of conferences and events, and channel citizens’ feedback to the EU.
Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta (SEM) has been chosen by the European Commission to host the Europe Direct Information Centre in Valletta from January 1, 2018 and will run for three years.
The Europe Direct network is one of the main channels of information about the EU for European citizens with the overall objective of providing citizens with easy access to information about the EU and its activities.
The centres are hosted within existing entities that guarantee a good geographical coverage as well as the necessary capacity and expertise to deal with EU queries from the public, direct enquiries to the best sources of information on EU matters and provide EU publications available for public dissemination.
A new feature of this dynamic generation is the ability to go the extra mile with their work programme, moving forward to a proactive approach where it engages with civil society, for example by organising Citizens’ Dialogues or being willing to do transnational pilot projects, bringing together EDICs from either side of a border.