Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana urged Gozitans to better coordinate and plan ahead when it comes to applying for EU funds for the good of the island. Speaking during a seminar entitled ‘EU funds: The Gozitan Experience’, organised by MEUSAC and the Parliamentary Secretariat for EU Funds and Social Dialogue at the University of Malta, Gozo Campus, Dr Caruana said Gozitans have the energy but lack the synergy. “It is vital that we work together and not individually,” she said.
Dr Caruana said Gozo had benefited from some €22 million in EU funds and it was now necessary to get an insight of what funds would be available in future. Currently, the EU budget post-2020 is the focus of discussions among Member States.
Minister for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said the Ministry has changed tactics: “Instead of waiting for you to come to us for information in this regard, we will come to you to guide you on what EU funding opportunities are available”.
MEUSAC head Vanni Xuereb referred to the Citizens’ Dialogue and welcomed EU Commissioner Günther Öttinger’s comments that funds tied to Erasmusplus will increase. Dr Xuereb also referred to Ottinger’s remarks that Member States would need to fork out more funds to make up for the EU budget shortfall as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Dr Xuereb reminded Gozitans that MEUSAC has an office at the University of Malta’s Gozo campus in Xewkija, providing information regarding EU funds and other EU-related information.
A European Union Programmes Agency (EUPA) representative said Malta had also tapped into the EEA and Norway grants and that some €8 million will be allocated to Malta.
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