EU Member States have unanimously endorsed the work programme for the upcoming Dutch, Slovak and Maltese presidencies of the Council of the European Union.

The Trio Work Programme was approved at the General Affairs Council meeting of ministers.

The programme is the blueprint of the legislative agenda priorities of the Council of the EU for the next 18 months, which will be presided over by the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta in respective 6-month periods.

The purpose of the programme is to provide a framework for continuity between the three Presidencies and centres around five goals:

- A Union of jobs, growth and competitiveness;
- A Union that empowers and protects all its citizens;
- Towards an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy;
- A Union of freedom, security and justice; and
- The Union as a strong global actor

Deputy Prime Minister, Louis Grech, and Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg discussed the programme over the past years with their Dutch and Slovak counterparts. 

"The Programme of the Trio aims at addressing both the concerns of EU citizens as well as their ambitions for what they want the EU to accomplish. In fact, it is not only a balance of the priorities of the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta, but indeed of the EU as a whole," the Deputy Prime Minister's Office said.

"This also means that Malta has ensured emphasis on Malta’s own priorities, notably that of prioritising long term and durable solutions to addressing migration flows. In this respect, Malta and its Trio partners will focus on the development of the Common European Asylum System, efforts on relocation, resettlement, returns and readmission, as well as fighting human trafficking."

Malta will also work to strengthen the security of the EU, including against groups with extremist and violent ideologies.

Other priorities which Malta has targeted range from continuing work in strengthening the Single Market in order to ensure a socially responsible dimension and support Malta’s economic growth to working on completing the Energy Union.

The Trio Programme kicks off on January 1, 2016 when the Dutch Presidency begins. Malta’s specific Presidency Work Programme will be presented closer to its own Presidency, which begins on January 1, 2017.

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