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“United for a More Social Europe” – Socialists and Democrats’ External Group Meeting in Malta


22 Sep 2021


Social Europe & Jobs

From 27 - 30 September 2021, members of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament will hold their 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.

The goal of the meeting in Malta is to give a new impetus to parliamentary work after the difficult circumstances imposed by Covid-19 restrictions. S&D MEPs will be meeting in person to advance the agenda on the crucial challenges that the EU faces: Economic Recovery and Resilience, the Digital Transformation, a Sustainable Future as proposed by the Fit for 55 package, and Relaunching the EU partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean.

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, president of the S&D Group, 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.

“We strive for a Union that can live up to its principles when it comes to migrants and refugees. As we witness the humanitarian drama of Afghanistan, it becomes even more evident that we need a proper and coherent legal framework, including a mandatory mechanism for relocation. 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.  For us, it is very symbolic that after so many years, the first external S&D Group meeting outside of Brussels will be held in Malta. ‘United for a more social Europe’ is the theme for the group meeting and the different discussions will revolve around strengthening our political family and our vision of a more green and digital social Europe that ensures social justice without leaving anyone behind.

“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. We are also looking forward to visiting a number of projects that the Maltese government has undertaken to reinforce social justice in Malta, from innovative housing to environmental sustainability projects. S&D MEPs will also have the chance to openly discuss with Prime Minister Robert Abela their vision for a united social Europe.

“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.”

Note to the editors:

Please note that there will be a live-streamed press conference with Iratxe García Pérez, S&D Group president, and Robert Abela, Maltese Prime Minister, on Tuesday, 28 September 2021, from 16.30 to 17.15. The link to the web streaming can be found here

The full programme of the S&D Group Meeting in Malta is available here

The programme of the citizens event within the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe entitled “It’s your Europe, have your say!” is available here