Ambassador Friggieri meets consular corps of the Federal state of Bremen

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Sep 08, 2017
On 5th September, Ambassador Dr Albert Friggieri was the guest of honour at the annual get-together of the members of the consular corps of the Federal State of Bremen in Northern Germany. 

The meeting was chaired by former SPD member of the Bundestag Volker Kroening, who also served four times as minister in the state government of Bremen. He is the Honorary Consul of Morocco and currently the dean of the state’s consular corps. After introducing Dr Friggieri to the consuls representing thirty countries, Mr Kroening invited the ambassador to deliver his speech. 

Dr Friggieri started by referring to the visit to Bremen by former President Dr George Abela and his delegation as part of the Maltese President’s state visit to Germany three years ago. He went on to say that while Bremen was the smallest state in the Federal Republic, represented by six deputies in the Bundestag, Malta was the smallest member in the European Union and had six members in the European Parliament. On the one hand, the two shared common problems and challenges due to their limited resources; on the other hand, Dr Friggieri pointed out, while size can be a drawback sometimes, it does not necessarily hinder creativity and success. He listed several examples of sectors in which Bremen and Malta excel as global players.

The ambassador underlined the fact that Malta and Bremen have long maritime traditions. He spoke about some of Malta’s sea-linked activities, such as coastal and cruise liner tourism, the Freeport, the yacht marinas, the largest ship register in Europe and the shipyards, which constitute vital pillar of the Maltese economy. While some of the most important centres for marine research are located in Bremen, Malta hosts a number of local and international institutions, such as IMLI, REMPEC and IOI, which play a crucial role in different spheres of maritime activity. The importance which Malta gives to this sector was also reflected in the fact that “maritime affairs” was one of Malta’s six priorities for its EU council presidency, Dr Friggieri said. 

The ambassador also referred to contacts between the University of Malta and the University of Bremen, where a “Malta Centre” was set up several years ago to promote the linguistic research and the teaching of the Maltese language, the only institution at academic level of its kind in the world. 

The ambassador’s speech was followed by a discussion and a Question and Answer session, during which the participants asked numerous questions concerning Malta’s culture, the economy, the political system and parliament, refugees in the Mediterranean and Malta’s stand, the country’s role as a bridge to North Africa and its experience as EU council president.

The ambassador’s meeting with the consular corps was coordinated by Malta’s Consul General for the federal states of Bremen and Lower Saxony, Dr Thomas Stoecker. 

Photo: from l. to r. Hon. Consul General Dr Thomas Stoecker, Ambassador Dr Albert Friggieri, the dean of the Bremen consular corps Volker Kroening.