The government agency Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta – SEM, was officially launched on March 25, 2021 by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Carmelo Abela, Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar and SEM CEO, Mandy Falzon.
SEM assumed the functions previously carried out by MEUSAC and introduced new services. The choice of the new name reflects 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.
The new agency is meant to serve as the main point of contact for citizens and organisations on EU-related matters. Its functions may 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.
As from May 1, Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta will be leading a Europe Direct information centre in Malta. The centre forms part of a network of more than 400 offices in Europe co-financed by the European Commission.
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.