Second transnational Citizens' Dialogue between Malta and Italy
/malta/file/citizens-dialogue-malta-italy_enCitizens' Dialogue Malta-Italy
In the run-up to the European Elections to be held in May 2019, the European Commission (EC) has embarked on a cross-border initiative which seeks to facilitate a true European public opinion. The initiative, which is being organised with the three Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs) in Malta and the EDICs in Trapani and Palermo, aims to bring citizens from Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, Malta and Gozo together to discuss and highlight issues of common interest regarding the future of the EU.
Following the first event, that took place in Palermo on 5 July, a second encounter took place in Malta on 16 October 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel, St Julian's. During the Malta event around 200 people from various backgrounds, ranging from youths and students to academics, representatives of local councils and civil society from Sicily, Malta and Gozo, were engaged in discussions on their preferences for the future of the EU. The event in Malta kicked off with an introduction from the Head of the EC Representation in Malta, Elena Grech, who welcomed the participants and outlined several reasons for which Europeans should remain vigilant to protect the achievements of our Union. Dr Grech stressed that "the benefits of the Europe we live in today are not a coincidence, they are today's reality because they were yesterday's ambition" and encouraged participants to appreciate the collective responsibility of all Europeans to safeguard our accomplishments.
/malta/file/elena-grech-head-ec-representation-malta-0_enElena Grech - Head, EC Representation in Malta
The Head of the European Commission Representation in Italy, Beatrice Covassi, explained that we should debate over the diverging visions of our European Union and not view the EU itself as the enemy. Similar sentiments were expressed by H.E. Mario Sammartino, ambassador of Italy to Malta who encouraged that minor disagreements should not overshadow our common faith in a better future for Europe. The event was also addressed by the Acting Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Malta, Anna Vella Zammit, who explained why it is crucial to vote in the EU Elections 2019 and make our voices heard.
/malta/file/beatrice-covassi-head-ec-representation-italy_enBeatrice Covassi - Head, EC Representation in Italy
The 200 participants were split into four parallel groups each discussing a specific question about the direction they would prefer the EU to take in the future. The discussion followed up on that already held in Palermo in July where the different groups discussed the competences of the EU and whether these should change. The third and final event will be held in Trapani in February 2019.
To see the full photo album of the event, click here.