Socialist MEPs to meet in Malta for first meeting outside Brussels since pandemic

This is the first meeting outside Brussels and Strasbourg since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, and will take place between the 27-30 September

Spanish MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez
Spanish MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez

Socialist MEPs are to meet in Malta for their conference ‘United For A More Social Europe’.

The meeting in the last week of September will be a hybrid conference for MEPs, with members meeting partly in Europe and others connecting digitally.

This is the first meeting outside Brussels and Strasbourg since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, and will take place between the 27-30 September.

Maltese Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba expressed satisfaction that the S&D political group had chosen Malta, dubbing it a “symbolic” step for the socialists to reconvene on the island for the first time since 2013.

The delegation of MEPs, led by group president Iratxe Garcia Perez, will meet Prime Minister Robert Abela as well. “His persistence to implement progressive reforms in the country has not disappointed the majority of Maltese citizens. This is why why there is big popularity and support for the Labour Party in Malta,” Garcia Perez said.

The S&D will hold a group meeting, workshops and fact-finding missions in Malta, together with a citizens’ event in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

S&D MEPs will be meeting in person to discuss the Fit for 55 package among other challenging dossiers.

“S&Ds will continue to support the Maltese government’s agenda of reforms and engage with Maltese citizens to hear about their hopes and aspirations. The meeting in Malta will provide an opportunity for the S&D Group to witness the social and judicial reforms that the Maltese government has successfully undertaken,” Iratxe García Pérez said.

“The European Union must strengthen its solidarity. Solidarity is the soul of Europe, but it has been undermined over the last years with neoliberal and nationalistic messages. We are going to Malta to reinvigorate our vision for a progressive and sustainable Europe; where big and small countries can act together in solidarity; where we fight inequalities and ensure a better future to all citizens, regardless of their age or whether they live in cities or in rural areas. A fair society cannot fully develop without equality between men and women, and there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the EU,” García Pérez said.

“We strive for a Union that can live up to its principles when it comes to migrants and refugees.... This does not only concern Afghanistan, we reiterate the need to stop the constant tragedy occurring in the Mediterranean and put in place an EU migration policy in respect of human dignity and based on solidarity between member states.

“All politics are related, and if we don’t manage to tackle global warming, to develop a strong and united European foreign policy and promote sustainable development at a global level, we will be seeing more and more economic and climate migrants in the next years.”

Alex Agius Saliba, co-ordinator of the S&D Maltese Delegation, added: “We are honoured to host our S&D colleagues in Malta for such an important meeting and various exchanges of views...

“We are looking forward to sharing with our colleagues the advancements and progress made in the reform process, strengthening our institutions and the rule of law in Malta...

“Malta is also central for Europe to continue pushing for a European policy for migration and asylum based on solidarity, shared responsibility, and a fair and just permanent mechanism for the relocation of migrants and refugees in these challenging times. Therefore, the S&D Group will reinvigorate the call for more solidarity and justice in the face of the human tragedy that we are witnessing, not only in the Mediterranean Sea but also through many European borders.”

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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