Fabian Demicoli

5+5 Summit focuses on the stability of the euro area


Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi chaired
a meeting of EU leaders present for the 5+5 Summit. The meeting focused on the
economic situation in the euro area in view of the European Council of October
18 and 19. French President François Hollande, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro
PassosCoelho and Prime Minister Gonzi reiterated their call for a swift
implementation of the decisions adopted by the European Council in June.

They
agreed on the opportunity that the meeting of the European Council represents
in order to pave the way towards the establishment of a European banking
supervision system. This will be decided before the end of the year and,
ultimately, the solution of the crisis. They also confirmed their determination
to work together and to actively contribute to the preservation of the
stability and integrity of the euro area. European Commission President Josè
Manuel Barroso also participated in the meeting. During bilateral meetings with
French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, held
respectively on the margins of the 5+5 Summit, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi
stated that Malta is not in favour of a Fiscal Union. However, Malta considers
that an agreement on a Banking Union can be reached. Malta is also opposed to
the proposals for a Financial Transaction Tax.

European
Stability Mechanism

The ESM is a permanent crisis
resolution mechanism for the countries of the euro area. The ESM issues debt
instruments to finance loans and other forms of financial assistance to euro
area Member States. The decision leading to the creation of the ESM was taken
by the European Council in December 2010. The euro area Member States signed an
intergovernmental treaty establishing the ESM on February 2 of this year.
By  October 3, all euro area Member  States had ratified the Treaty. The Maltese
Parliament unanimously ratified the Treaty last July 6.

Malta's
position on the MFF 2014-2020

During a meeting with European
Commission President Josè Manuel Barroso on October 6, Prime Minister Lawrence
Gonzi explained Malta's position on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework
(MFF) for 2014-2020 and the need for a particular solution for Malta.The
Union's Cohesion Policy is important for Malta to strengthen its
competitiveness and, therefore, the Commission should understand Malta's unique
position as an island-state. Dr Gonzi also mentioned the particular situation
of Gozo and referred to his letter sent to President Barroso last July in which
he invoked the provisions of Declaration 36 of the Treaty of Accession "on the
Island Region of Gozo". In reply, Mr Barroso stated that he recognises Gozo's
particular situation and that his wish is that agreement on the MFF is reached
by the end of this year. The MFF will be the main subject of a special meeting
of the European Council to be held on November 23. President Barroso also
thanked Malta for its positive and constructive contributions within the EU.
The Commission's president also had a meeting with the Leader of the
Opposition, Joseph Muscat, which focused on Malta-EU Affairs.

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