Speech Given by Richard Cachia Caruana, Permanent Representative of Malta to the European Union

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Jul 16, 2009

Speech Given by Richard Cachia Caruana, Permanent Representative of Malta to the European Union At the Official Inauguration of The Maltese Evening, European Economic and Social Committee Brussels, 15 July 2009



Distinguished Members of the European Economic and Social Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen 

Allow me to start by thanking President Sepi for his very warm words of welcome as well as the Maltese members of the European Economic and Social Committee for hosting this ‘Maltese Evening’. Thanks are due also to all those involved in the organisation of tonight’s event. 

This event, serves not only to give a taste of our country, and its culture, but also allows us to mark Malta’s first five years of European Union membership. 

Over the past five years, through their hard work, Malta’s representatives in the EU Institutions have reflected the country’s determination to continue making a success of EU Membership. None more so than our representatives in the European Economic and Social Committee.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Maltese team is made up of just five members, they have been very active, sharing their ideas, knowledge and experience with their colleagues within this Committee and, through the committee’s work, with the other bodies and Institutions of the European Union.

One fact that highlights their work is that in the first seven months of 2009 alone, the Maltese Members of the EESC have already presented five opinions in Plenary. Proportionately, this makes them the second most active delegation in this important Committee.

The importance of the European Economic and Social Committee lies within its role of ensuring that the voice of economic and social players in civil society reaches the decision making bodies of the European Union.

This role has rarely been so vital in the Committee’s 52 year history than today, when the European economy is experiencing serious difficulties.

I am pleased to note that the EESC has recognised the important role it has to play in the tackling of this crisis and it has made very valid contributions, through various opinions, in the run up to the June European Council.

In the midst of the deepest global recession since the Second World War the European Council last month demonstrated the Union's determination to rise above present difficulties and to look to the future by taking a series of decisions intended to meet, rapidly and effectively, a wide range of challenges.

The top priority at this current juncture, both at national and European levels, is being given to tackling the effects of the crisis on employment by helping people stay in work or find new jobs.

Other decisions are intended to lead to the creation of a new financial supervisory architecture with the aim of protecting the European financial system from future risks and ensuring that the mistakes of the past can never be repeated. 


Ladies and Gentlemen

In Conclusion, I would like to emphasise that the Maltese Government attaches great importance to the work of the European Economic and Social Committee and believes that in a multi-level governance system, every actor has its own role to play in building a strong Europe which can achieve its purposes and further promote its values.