The MEUSAC Core Group discussed the European Commission’s ‘Reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union’. This is one of a series of papers published by the Commission over the past months and intended at launching an EU-wide process of reflection and debate on the future of Europe.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Helena Dalli, spoke on the importance that all Core Group members participate in the discussion on the future of Europe since whatever takes place in the EU affects the daily lives of citizens in some way or other.
Referring to the reflection paper on economic and monetary union, Dr Dalli said that we now have a document mapping out a way forward by 2025. In this context, she referred to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address on September 13, during which he made several proposals such as the appointment of a European Minister of Economy and Finance. Dr Dalli also highlighted the importance of discussions within MEUSAC’s Core Group in view of her participation in meetings of the General Affairs Council of the EU.
Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue Dr Aaron Farrugia referred to the importance of discussions within MEUSAC particularly at this moment in time when there are divergent views on the EU’s future.
Director in the Ministry for Finance, Mr Ivan-Carl Saliba, delivered a presentation on the reflection paper. He said that one of the issues being discussed is the proposal to create a European Monetary Fund to replace the European Stability Mechanism – the international financial institution set up by the euro area Member States to help euro area countries in severe financial distress. The aim of the new fund would be for EU countries lending money to yield dividends in return. Mr Saliba also spoke about the proposed European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) which would safeguard bank deposit and the setting up of a ‘Rainy Day Fund’ for the euro area in the event of future crises.
During the meeting, members highlighted matters of concern such as tax sovereignty and the drive towards qualified majority voting in the Council on fiscal matters.
At the beginning of the meeting, Head of MEUSAC, Dr Vanni Xuereb, referred to the re-launch of MEUSAC as a government agency, aimed at strengthening the Europeanisation of the country, as a process that would lead to a consolidation of consultation on EU affairs citing, as an example, a decision to widen representation in the Core Group to include members of the national parliamentary committee on Foreign and European Affairs, members of the European Parliament, the EU Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.
The MEUSAC Core Group brings together representatives of Government, the political parties, constituted bodies, civil society representatives and EU-related entities.
The Core Group holds monthly meetings which focus on EU matters having national implications.