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ECOFIN adopts “Exit Strategy” Eco-efficiency on ECOFIN Agenda Justice Ministers agree on strengthening rights of suspects and accused persons


Cooperatives and European Social Dialogue - Rolan Micallef Attard Beneficiary of EU grants prepare your say for the post-2013 scenario! Pro[ett g]at-twaqqif ta' inkubatur g]al intrapri\i kulturali

31 OCTOBER 2009


What does the Treaty of Lisbon mean for Malta? Another step closer Schedule Open Week at the European Commission Representation in Malta ISSUE 22

Il-PM se jiltaqa' mal-Core Group



WEEE recast proposal and transposition of Battery Directive


EUSAC held an open consultation session on the recast of the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and the transposition of the Battery Directive, on 21 October at Projects House in Floriana. Members from the business community, importers, environmentalists and WasteServ officials were present. The well attended session was addressed by Mr Kevin Mercieca from the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) who presented the recast WEEE Directive proposal and other recent documents to participants. Mr Mercieca also delivered a presentation on the transposition of the Battery Directive into Maltese law. The various regulations related to both Directives were outlined. The EU's Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE Directive) provides for the prevention and management of waste electrical and electronic equipment, by promoting its reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery, as well as improving the environmental performance of all the operators concerned during the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment. The recast of this Directive aims to introduce the concept of Community Market, as well as increase targets on collection and recycling. In fact, the recast Directive sets to introduce a collection rate of 65 per cent annually commencing in 2016, instead of the current collection rate of 4kgs per inhabitant per year. The Directive is also seeking to introduce a measure to harmonise the registration of producers and reporting by producers in the EU. Discussions are currently underway and the Presidency of the Council has issued a compromise text to seek ways forward on this dossier, given that agreement has not yet been reached in the Council. On the other hand, Directive 2006/66/EC, repealing Directive 91/157/EC or the Battery Directive as it is commonly called, aims at minimising the negative impacts of batteries and accumulators on the environment. This is done through specific rules for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste batteries and accumulators. The Directive stipulates that a minimum collection target of 25 per cent is to be achieved by producers or third parties

acting on their behalf in 2012 which should increase to 45 per cent by 26 September 2016. It is being suggested that Malta could introduce interim targets stipulating that the following minimum collection targets shall be achieved by producers or third parties acting on their behalf: 30 per cent by 26 September 2013, 35 per cent by 26 September 2014, 40 per cent by 26 September 2015. Mr Mercieca queried various issues related to the changes being proposed by the recast WEEE Directive, notably the availability of information to users, the registration of producers and reporting by producers, and the introduction of a proposal whereby all Member States should encourage producers, where appropriate, to finance all the cost occurring for collection facilities for WEEE. On the Battery Directive, Mr Mercieca sought stakeholder reactions on the viability of the collection rates and targeted dates being proposed, registration procedures and the penalties applicable to those who commit offences against the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations. Various suggestions were forthcoming, including on the new targets being proposed which suggest that the position being adopted with regard to targets has support from the business community. Among the various questions and comments raised from the floor on both Directives, it was indicated that the business community cannot be burdened with absorbing the costs for collection and recovery of such waste when it is already being charged through the eco-contribution tax. The importance of increased market surveillance was also mentioned. It was said that businesses cannot compete on a level playing field, if various operators not conforming to the regulations, are not sufficiently penalised. Other suggestions were also forthcoming. The consultation period on the WEEE Directive (recast) will be open till 2 December 2009, while that on the Battery Directive will be open till 18 November 2009. Comments should be sent to the following email addresses: WEEE Directive (recast); Battery Directive - Relevant documentation is also available on the MEUSAC website and MEPA's website:

il-jumejn li g]addew, saret il-laqg]a tal-Kunsill Ewropew fi Brussell. Il-Kunsill ilaqqa' flimkien il-kapijiiet tal-Istat jew tal-Gvernijiet tas-27 Stat Membru tal-UE. Il-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi ]a sehem f'dan isSummit. Fost il-materji diskussi kien hemm l-iffinanzjar tal-klima, ji[ifieri kif l-Unjoni se tiffinanzja l-mi\uri li jridu jittie]du biex nilqg]u g]all-isfidi tat-tibdil fil-klima. Il-Kunsill iddiskuta wkoll il-futur talistituzzjonijiet tal-UE u t-Trattat ta' Li\bona. Ma setg]ax jonqos li l-Kunsill Ewropew jiddiskuti wkoll il-kri\i ekonomika u finanzjarja kif ukoll ir-relazzjonijiet tal-Unjoni mal-bqija tad-dinja u l-immigrazzjoni illegali. G]all-ewwel darba minn mindu re[a' twaqqaf il-Core Group tal-MEUSAC f'Awwissu tal-2008, il-membri ta' dan il-kumitat rappre\entattiv tal-forzi politi`i fil-pajji\, korpi kostitwiti u tas-so`jeta` `ivili, se jkollhom l-opportunita` li jisimg]u ming]and il-Prim Ministru x'kienu l-konklu\jonijiet ta' din il-laqg]a importanti, kif ukoll jiddiskutu mieg]u l-futur tal-UE u l-a]jar sehem ta' Malta f'din l-Unjoni. F'dawn l-a]]ar 14-il xahar, minbarra li ddiskuta diversi proposti le[islattivi tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea, il-Core Group kellu wkoll l-opportunita` jiltaqa' mal-Kummissarju Joe Borg, mal-Vi`i Prim Ministru u Ministru tal-Affarjiet Barranin Tonio Borg, mal-Ministru tal-{ustizzja u l-Intern Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, mal-membri Maltin tal-Parlament Ewropew u ma' João Vale de Almeida, Kap tas-Segretarjat tal-President talKummissjoni Ewropea Barroso. G]alhekk, il-MEUSAC qed iservi biex persuni f'karigi importanti fid-diversi istituzzjonijiet tal-UE jisimg]u dak li rrappre\entanti ta' firxa wiesg]a tas-so`jeta` Maltija g]andhom xi jg]idu dwar it-temi ewlenin tal-politika tal-UE. |gur li hemm x'wie]ed itejjeb fil-mod kif qed ja]dem il-MEUSAC illum, i\da flistess waqt, soddisfatt li bl-g]ajnuna tat-tim \ag]\ug] li g]andna, il-MEUSAC qed ikun strument effettiv ta' konsultazzjoni. Nixtieq nirringrazzja b'mod partikolari lil Julian Micallef, li g]al din l-a]]ar sena kien il-persuna li ta sehem ewlieni biex filMEUSAC jitwaqqfu l-istrutturi li jiffa`ilitaw il-konsultazzjoni dwar materji relatati mal-UE.

Vanni Xuereb

MEUSAC, 280 Republic Street,Valletta VLT 1112, Malta • Tel: (356) 25 90 91 01 • Fax: (356) 21 22 75 80 • e-mail:


31 OCTOBER 2009 ISSUE 22

ECOFIN adopts “Exit Strategy”


he Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), meeting in Luxembourg on 20 October, adopted conclusions on the establishment of an exit strategy with regard to measures taken to tackle the economic and financial crisis. Malta was represented by the Minister of Finance, Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech. The ministers agreed that despite signs of economic recovery in Europe, the stimulus measures for the economy and the financial sector, adopted by national governments, should not be withdrawn until the recovery is secured and self-sustainable. They concluded, however, that the early design and communication of a common exit strategy would further strengthen confidence in the economy and help secure expectations. Ahead of the withdrawal of the stimulus measures of the European Economic Recovery Programme, the Council agreed that substantial fiscal consolidation is required in order to cut short and eventually reverse the increase in debt and restore sound fiscal positions. ECOFIN also reached broad agreement on the substance of proposals on the establishment of a European Systemic Risk Board, which will provide oversight of the financial system as part of a reform of the EU's supervisory framework for banking, insurance and securities markets. In fact, whilst taking note of the necessity for additional political negotiations before reaching a final agreement in December 2009 on the setting up of this new supervisory structure, the Council invited the Swedish presidency to initiate the process with the European Parliament on the Council Decision entrusting the European Central Bank with specific tasks in relation to the ESRB. Both of the above issues were referred to the meeting of the European Council on 29 and 30 October. The Council also adopted conclusions on the strengthening of EU arrangements for

Eco-efficiency on ECOFIN Agenda

Minister Tonio Fenech with Minister Proell, Austrian ViceChancellor and Federal Minister of Finance at an ECOFIN meeting.

financial stability and crisis management, taking account of a report on the lessons learnt from the current crisis. Furthermore, the Council included a “roadmap” setting out the future priorities. With regard to the financing of climate policies, the ministers discussed preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference which will convene in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December. The Council also discussed preparations for the meeting of the next G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors to be held in St Andrews (UK) on 6 and 7 November, that will follow up the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh the exit strategies and the framework for sustainable and balanced growth, and the financing of climate policies.


he Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), during its last meeting, stressed the importance of the transition to eco-efficient economies and that such a development has the potential to create new business opportunities. Malta was represented at the meeting by the Minister of Finance, Economy and Investment, Mr Tonio Fenech. The 27 Finance and Economy Ministers also stated that eco-efficient economies can help boost EU competitiveness and also have the potential for significant growth in employment. There was also agreement on the objective of achieving an ecoefficient economy and that this aim should be a core target of a new Lisbon Strategy after 2010. The shift towards an eco-efficient economy could be promoted by shifting the income of national budgets from taxing labour and enterprises towards taxing resource and energy use as well as negative environmental activities. The Council encourages Member States to consider reforms to facilitate such a shift. The Council of Ministers also urges employment and education policies to reduce the current gap in skills that exist to help facilitate eco-efficient enterprises including construction and housing, sustainable transport, renewable energy and recycling. Public procurement is also mentioned in line with the indicated 50 per cent target for Member States to be reached by 2010, with the aim being that of promoting eco-innovation and green public procurement to stimulate demand for green products, services and technologies. ECOFIN also urged Member States to take the lead along, with the European Commission, to develop a 10-year Framework of programmess on sustainable consumption. It also invited the European Commission to undertake a full review of the European Energy Efficiency Action Plan to identify measures towards additional energy savings and the objective of saving 20 per cent of energy consumption in the EU as compared to projections for 2020.

Justice Ministers agree on strengthening rights of suspects and accused persons


he Ministers of Justice of the EU Member States discussed a number of key issues during the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 23 October, with Malta being represented by its Justice and Home Affairs Minister, Dr Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici. The Council agreed on a package of three documents aimed at strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings. There was consensus among the 27 Ministers on a step-by-step approach on legislative initiatives which are required in some key areas:  the right to translation and interpretation,  communication with relatives, employers and consular authorities,  information on rights and charges,  access to legal advice and legal aid,  special safeguards for vulnerable suspected or accused individuals,  pre-trail detention. General agreement was also reached regarding a draft decision on the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN). The EUCPN, established in 2001, focuses on the development of crime prevention meas-


ures including juvenile, urban and drug-related crime. The Ministers agreed on the need for national representatives to further involve themselves within the activities of the framework and its institutional strengthening. The Council also took note of the recent Commission proposal for a Regulation on successions with a cross border dimension. The proposal determines the court having jurisdiction to hear

cases on succession, the applicable law, as well as regulates recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession. Moreover, the proposal introduces a European Certificate on Succession. This is a document constituting proof of the capacity of heirs, legatees and powers of the executors of wills or third-party administrators. This should enable international successions to be settled rapidly.

Beneficiary of EU grants - prepare your say for the post-2013 scenario!


ny applicant or beneficiary of EU funds must have had to deal with a level of regulation both to apply and to access the funds. It should be taken as a given that when dealing with public funds utmost care is taken to safeguard the monies forwarded. The European Union has its Financial Regulation, which together with implementing measures, lays down the rules applicable to the establishment and implementation of its general budget. From these emanate provisions relating to various other provisions applicants may encounter - possibilities of providing bank guarantees, the principle of not making profit, co-financing requirements, making beneficiaries' names public and more. Partly in view of the process currently underway towards a reform of the EU Budget, to take place post-2013, the European Commission has launched a consultation exercise on the financial regulation and its implementing measures - specifically on grants and the Commission's handling of contracts and grants. Questions of interest being asked include:  Should rules be more flexible on co-financing requirements?  Should rules allow for costs to be covered according to expected outputs?  Should the use of lump sums and flat rates become the norm?  Should rules strictly adhere to the non-profit principle?  What mechanisms could be proposed with respect to pre-financing payments and reimbursement of payments, and pre-financing guarantees, while keeping in mind the need to safeguard Community funds and taxpayers' money?  How could the application procedure for both grants and contracts be improved?  Are you sufficiently informed about upcoming calls for proposals? The present exercise is set to be concluded by the 18 December 2009 and comments received should serve as a basis for the Commission's proposal on the review of the Financial Regulation, to be presented in mid-2010. It is not everyday that you will get a chance like this. Don't wait till the following financial framework. Register your views now! Further information is available online: FRconsult2009_en.htm.

Julian Micallef

Pro[ett g]at-twaqqif ta' inkubatur g]al intrapri\i kulturali


l-Fondazzjoni Temi Zammit (FTZ) bdiet tie]u sehem fi tliet pro[etti [odda ta]t il-programm tal-Unjoni Ewropea g]ar-re[jun tal-Mediterran imsejja] MED. F'dawn il-[ranet qed jiltaqg]u f'Malta s-s]ab tal-pro[ett “Incubators for Cultural Enterprises (ICE)”, immexxi mill-Asso`jazzjoni ta' Muni`ipalitajiet tad-Distrett ta' Évora fil-Portugall (AMDE). Dawn is-s]ab [ejjin minn re[juni min-na]a t'isfel tal-Ewropa - il-Portugall, Spanja, l-Italja, il-Gre`ja u Malta - li g]andhom l-istess problemi ta' nuqqas ta' valorizzazzjoni ekonomika tar-ri\orsi kulturali, ta' kompetenzi fl-immani[[jar, u ta' strate[iji g]all-internazzjonalizzazzjoni. It-territorji involuti g]andhom karatteristi`i [eografi`i simili li, g]alhekk, jippermettu koperazzjoni transnazzjonali u ]idma parallela b'siner[ija bejniethom sabiex jin]oloq mudell li jkun jista' ji[i kkupjat f'territorji Ewropej o]ra. Il-pro[ett jinkora[[ixxi kollaborazzjoni fittul bejn intrapri\i li joperaw fil-qasam tal-arti fir-re[juni kkon`ernati biex inaqqas id-distakk teknolo[iku f'dawn i\-\oni. B'mod partikolari, il-pro[ett jikkonsisti fil-]olqien ta' inkubaturi spe`ifi`i g]al intrapri\i kulturali. Id-definizzjoni ta' “prodott kulturali” se ti[i ttrattata wkoll permezz ta' dan il-pro[ett. F'Malta, il-FTZ qed ta]dem mal-Kunsilli Lokali tal-Belt Valletta u ta' Bormla, biex tin]oloq l-infrastruttura g]all-assistenza tal-

intrapri\i kulturali li ji[u identifikati. Ta' min jg]id li l-istatistika mi[bura mill-Eurostat f'dawn l-a]]ar snin turi li l-kultura f'Malta tag]ti l-inqas kontribut g]all-Prodott Gross Domestiku tal-pajji\, minn fost l-Istati Membri kollha tal-UE. L-g]anijiet tal-pro[ett huma li: 1. Jo]loq u jippromwovi netwerk stabbli bejn territorji Mediterranji li g]andhom fihom siti ta' patrimonju dinji, rikonoxxuti mill-UNESCO, u intrapri\i li joperaw kemm biex jaqsmu l-esperjenzi u l-g]arfien tag]hom, jippromwovu inizjattivi ekonomi`i u jwasslu g]al sistema innovattiva ta' mmani[[jar ta' dawn l-intrapri\i kulturali; 2. Ikabbar il-]iliet imprenditorjali talintrapri\i; 3. Jo]loq u jippromwovi attrazzjonijiet kulturali differenti imma integrati ma' dawk tradizzjonali, b'rispett g]all-elementi ta' identita` territorjali; 4. Jg]in lill-intrapri\i l-[odda permezz tal-infrastruttura u l-inkubaturi g]annegozju li se jitwaqqfu. Se jin]atru wkoll esperti fil-qasam biex jg]inu lill-intrapri\i mag]\ula. Fil-ka\ ta' Malta, il-pro[etti approvati ta]t ilprogramm MED, b]alma hu ICE, huma ffinanzjati sa 85% mill-Fond Ewropew talI\vilupp Re[jonali (ERDF), li jag]mel parti mill-programm ta' fondi tal-UE g]al Malta g]as-snin 2007-2013.

Cooperatives and European Social Dialogue ROLAN MICALLEF ATTARD The European Commission acts as a catalyst to facilitate social dialogue within its official framework. Social dialogue at European level is organised in six cross-industry organisations (BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP, ETUC, EUROCADRES, CEC) and thirty-six sectoral committees covering diverse economic sectors from agriculture to professional football. Bipartite social dialogue takes place between the employer and the trade union organisations, while tripartite social dialogue meetings are held between employers' and workers' representatives together with officials of the Commission and the Council of Ministers. The EU social partners are committed to addressing the effects of European integration, globalisation and climate change, in the current financial and economic crisis, with all the direct and indirect implications on employers and their workforce. The EU social partners will also be developing a number of actions to promote sustainable development and economic growth, to improve competitiveness, productivity and flexicurity, to achieve high levels of employment and social progress and to enhance environmental protection. Cooperatives Europe can contribute and add value to this process and is working hard at becoming recognised as a European social partner organisation at the cross-industry level. This recognition is awarded to organisations that are sufficiently represented in the EU Member States, are capable of taking part in social dialogue consultations and have a mandate to negotiate. Cooperatives Europe is an excellent candidate as it represents 107 million European citizens who are members in more than 147,000 co-operative enterprises employing more than 4.34 million employees in the 27 EU Member States. Koperattivi Malta is the federation of Maltese co-operatives and a member of Cooperatives Europe. In line with Cooperatives Europe's initiative, Koperattivi Malta is active in the social dialogue processes within the Maltese economy through its participation in the sectoral committees of MEUSAC. Koperattivi Malta has partnered with Union }addiema Mag]qudin which, through its Secretary General, is a member of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) and is highly committed to being the voice of the Cooperative Movement within the MCESD. Social partners are aware of the realities in the workplaces within which they operate, and understand the needs and wants of both employers and employees. Being part of the social dialogue mechanism, with a strong voice, will play a key role in the process of influencing final legislative decisions in the national and European scenarios.

Rolan Micallef Attard is a certified public accountant in public practice and has extensive experience and expertise in co-operative matters. In 2008, he was elected secretary general of Koperattivi Malta and also committee member on the Central Co-operative Fund. Between 1999 and 2007, Mr Micallef Attard was an active member of the government regulatory body, the Co-operatives Board, and in 2001 was responsible as co-legislator for the re-drafting of the Cooperative Societies Act, Cap. 442. He currently represents Koperattivi Malta on MEUSAC's sectoral committee on competitiveness and consumer affairs and attends the agriculture sectoral committee meetings. Mr Micallef Attard is a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants and a holder of an M.B.A. degree specialising in e-Business from the University of Malta. The above article does not necessarily reflect MEUSAC's point of view



31 OCTOBER 2009 ISSUE 22

What does the Treaty of Lisbon mean for Malta? Dr Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs


alta, as the smallest member of the EU, will benefit in no small part from this Treaty. To begin with the idea of equality at the European table has been reinforced with the retention of a Maltese Commissioner. Although we do recognize the weight and responsibility of the larger Member States, we do not believe in a multispeed Europe and feel that on issues of disagreement and preservation of national interest a consensus must and can be sought. Europe has been created for all its member countries and no European country should be allowed to remain behind to create a two-tier Union. Having said this, impasses arising out of difficulties in reaching a unanimous decision, especially on issues of foreign policy, should be avoided. When it comes to the EU's international standing, impressions are paramount. The High Representative's role will surely have a positive effect on the way the world looks at the EU. Only when speaking with one voice, when it matters most, can the EU claim its place as an effective player on the international stage. The EU needs to be consistent and coherent when it comes to foreign policy matters, and active in real

time, rather than the pace we have been used to. Under Lisbon we can get on with it. We will no longer be bogged down by the institutional side to things. If we put our minds to it, we can truly create a respectable force that can be a positive force in the world. For Malta, this increased clout can only be of benefit with our voice in reality being larger than our size. Our size under the Lisbon Treaty, has not been disadvantaged. On the contrary the attainment of the 6th seat has given Malta more representation ensuring that our MEPs can work within a larger number of select committees thus enabling our voice to be heard across a wider spectrum of issues. Finally, on a lighter note the Lisbon Treaty also makes it possible for Member States to actually withdraw from the Union, previously unchartered waters. Hoping Malta will never have to make use of this clause, it is a clear indication as to the extent to which this new Treaty has gone to ensure the ultimate goal of preserving national interests at the heart of this unique and complex European project. Excerpt form the Opening Speech at the MEUSAC Conference “Europe After Ireland - What Next?”- 9 October 2009.

Another step closer


n 23 October, the office of Czech President Vaclav Klaus issued a statement indicating that the Swedish Presidency's compromise proposal in relation to the President's request for an opt out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is a part of the Lisbon Treaty) meets the President's expectations and that it is possible to work further on this. This statement was welcomed by the President of the European Council, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. He stated that "I welcome the statement by Rresident Klaus. The Presidency will continue to work with this in view of next week's European Council". The European Council met in Brussels on 29 and 30 October. Until going to print, details of the proposal had not yet been released. Another matter also pending is that of the constitutional case filed by 17 senators who claim that the Treaty would violate the sovereignty of the Czech Republic. The Czech Constitutional Court started hearing the case last Tuesday and has adjourned to the 3rd November when it may deliver its ruling.

Open Week at the European Commission Representation Dar l-Ewropa, Valletta • 2 - 6 November, 2009

The European Commission Representation together with the European Parliament Office in Malta have recently moved to Dar l-Ewropa, 254, St Paul Street, Valletta (right behind the old market). In an effort to raise awareness on the new premises and inform the general public of the services

offered by both Institutions, a number of activities are being organised in order to encourage people to visit Dar l-Ewropa as well as to encourage active participation. An Open Week will take place between 2 and 6 November, during which local EU-related entities and organisations will

be organising a number of information sessions, conferences, and meetings to promote their respective roles in their capacity as providers of EU-related services. MEUSAC will be holding a meeting of its Employment, Social Policy & Health Sectoral Committee at Dar l-Ewropa during the Open Week.






Europe Direct Mosta 1pm - 4pm

Europe Direct Floriana 11.30am - 1pm

Fondazzjoni Temi Zammit 9am - 10.30am

Fondazzjoni Temi Zammit 9am - 10.30am

EURES 4.30pm - 7.30pm

MEUSAC 2pm - 5pm

Malta Qualification Council 9.30am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 5pm

Cultural Contact Point 10.30am - 13pm

European Union Programmes Agency 2pm - 5pm

Mediadesk 2pm - 5pm

MEUSAC, 280 Republic Street,Valletta VLT 1112, Malta • Tel: (356) 25 90 91 01 • Fax: (356) 21 22 75 80 • e-mail: Articles in this newsletter may be reproduced provided the source is quoted

Cooperatives and European Social Dialogue  
Cooperatives and European Social Dialogue  

This article beirfly shows how Koperattivi Malta is participating within the social dialogue processes within the Maltese economy, and the v...