Malta is to receive €35 million over three years to help cover the impact of Brexit on its economy, the EU Commission announced on Monday.
The pre-financing payments will begin this year with a €13.8 million payment, with subsequent disbursements of €10.5 million and €10.7 million in the following two years.
Malta’s sum is the largest per capita outlay among the EU member states approved for funding this week by a significant margin, reflecting its close trading relationship with the UK.
The Netherlands is receiving the second-highest amount on a per capita basis, followed by Belgium.
Twelve EU member states have been approved to receive EU funding in through the €5.4 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve, intended to help countries and regions mitigate the adverse impact of Brexit on their economies and regions, through support to regions and economic sectors, small and medium-sized companies as well as job creation and protection, such as short-time work schemes, re-skilling, and training.
Member states will have until the end of December 2023 to use the funds to cover expenses incurred and paid since January 1, 2020.
Ireland and Italy received Brexit Adjustment Reserve funding late last year. Remaining EU member states have yet to submit applications to receive funding.
The EU will then disburse further funding in 2025 to help reimburse member states for costs actually incurred by member states in implementing measures eligible for support.
Funding was calculated based on three criteria: each member states’ trading ties to the UK; fish caught in the UK’s exclusive economic zone; and use of maritime border regions. The trade element was given the most weighting.
Malta’s economy was highly focused on the UK prior to Brexit: according to British data, the UK’s market share of goods imported into Malta stood at 13.7% in 2020 – down 18.6 percentage points from 2019.
EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said: “The Brexit Adjustment Reserve was set up and adopted in record time to help Member States mitigate the adverse economic, social and territorial consequences of Brexit. Now it is up to Member States to make the best use of the available funding to support regions, local communities, citizens and small and medium businesses to diversify their activities, keep jobs and reskill the workforce where necessary.”
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