The purpose of the new agreement is to regulate the duties and responsibilities of MEUSAC as the Intermediary Body designated by the Government of Malta for the purposes of implementing EU-related communication actions. The Management Partnership is aimed at creating synergy between the means of action employed by the Member States and the Commission and coordinating their information and communication activities on the European Union by means of a jointly agreed Communication Plan.
The annual Communication Plans are drawn up and monitored by a Coordination Team representing the national government, the Commission and the European Parliament, whose role is to coordinate the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of information and communication activities.
Through the Management Partnership, the Commission delegates some of its budget implementing powers to national intermediary bodies designated by the Member States and approved by the Commission. These bodies are responsible for carrying out general administrative tasks relating to jointly developed information operations and the actions they comprise, in accordance with the Communication Plan.
Priorities to be tapped this year are the economic recovery, the European Year of Citizens 2013 and the European Parliament elections in 2014. Various communication measures have been already planned, namely a media campaign, seminars and other key information tools aimed at achieving the objectives of the European Year of Citizens 2013; the promotion of the importance of EU institutions in the daily lives of citizens; as well as a new episode of the popular childrens’ educational cartoon “Tommy & Rosy”.
Addressing the media, Mr Bugelli said that the Delegation Agreement that is committing the European Commission to allocate those funds to MEUSAC, confirms the excellent working relationship that the European Commission has established with MEUSAC throughout the past four years. He explained how this shows that Europe is not far-fetched or detached from the citizens, and described the Union as also being close to its citizens by means of national entities. He stated that national entities have the responsibility to ensure that citizens are well-informed about the EU. Mr Bugelli described MEUSAC as the ideal entity to disseminate the information as it has the capacity and know-how to reach a broad audience, ranging from citizens to businesses, NGOs and local councils
MEUSAC Head Vanni Xuereb said that the new Agreement will build on the success of the previous one thus aiming at broadening its outreach to the general public. He explained how this year’s communication measures would address EU citizens’ rights with MEUSAC also having been designated as the National Contact Point for the European Year of Citizens 2013. Dr Peter Agius, Head of the European Parliament Information Office, said that the European Union is as complex as it is beneficial to our daily lives, to our economy and to our aspirations for the future. He added that we need to overcome the complexities associated with the EU to ensure that knowledge about our rights as European citizens reach the Maltese public.
In his concluding remarks, Minister Chris Said thanked the parties involved for their sterling work in the provision of EU-related information.