As outlined in its National Programme, Malta’s primary focus will be migration and security issues alongside an ambitious agenda for trade and sustainable development. Some challenging dossiers await action, including the modernisation of trade defence instruments and the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU. Prompt implementation of the goals will provide for a sustainable future that covers economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and governance, both in the EU and globally. To this end, EU’s new generation of trade agreements will provide the needed impetus to push for sustainable development internationally.
Stronger Commitment to Ratify CETA Needed
After assessing Malta’s programme, FTA believes that the Maltese Presidency should make a stronger commitment to conclude the EU-Canada free trade agreement. It is one of the most ambitious agreements the EU has negotiated so far, and its timely conclusion would send the message that the EU can seal deep and comprehensive deals.
Moving Forward in Other Trade Negotiations
Malta should also use its Presidency to move forward negotiations with other trading partners such as Indonesia and the Philippines, especially since the majority of future growth is expected from that region. Likewise, Malta could make use of its links within the Commonwealth to reach a breakthrough in the long-stalled talks with India, and open negotiations with Australia and New Zealand during its term.
FTA hopes that Malta’s Presidency will be a fruitful one and that it will be able to move forward on many of the pressing topics which the EU is faced with today.