Fabian Demicoli

A very active week for DG Vincent Farrugia

GRTU Director General Vincent Farrugia as Maltese Employer's
representative at the European Economic and Social Committee was extremely busy
with strong participation in meetings of the Section for External Relations
(REX), the Section for Employment Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) and the
Section for Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT).

This week Mr
Farrugia also presented during a study group meeting his draft Opinion as EESC
rapporteur on the Commission proposal on
promotion the free movement of citizens and businesses by simplifying the
acceptance of certain public documents in the European Union:


Free Movement
of Citizens & Businesses by Simplifying the Acceptance of Public Documents
across the EU

Farrugia is the EESC Rapporteur-General drafting the Opinion for approval by
the Plenary Session on this important issue. This is the fourth Report Vince
Farrugia is presenting on issues relating to the removal of obstacles hampering
citizens and businesses from enjoying their full rights as within the EU.         

Vince Farrugia is a very active member
of the 2013 European Year for Citizens and on the removal of obstacles such as
Apostle and Certified translations that make life difficult and acceptance of
certain public documents expensive. Vince Farrugia as Rapporteur is insisting
on the removal of all escape clauses like reasonable doubt that continue to empower member
state Governments to further with their 
restrictive practices. The Draft Opinion presented by Vince Farrugia will be made public following its
adoption by the EESC Plenary and its publication in the EU official journal.

Rethinking Education: Investing in Skills for better
Socio-Economic outcomes

At the SOC meeting
Vince Farrugia spoke on the need to reach specific Framework Agreements
the Social Partners and with Governments at national and at EU level on
resolving specific issues that are the cause of much mismatch between
demands for skilled workers to occupy the jobs that are being
offered and the lack of availability of adequately qualified persons.
Farrugia reported on his practical experience as one of the negotiators
on the employers' side representing UEAPME on the negotiations  on the
Framework of Actions on Youth

These Framework
"Agreements together with the establishment of National Skills Council
accompanying European skills Councils on various specific economic sectors
together with enhanced labour mobility and employment support schemes will go a
long way to resolve mismatching problems. Generalities and complaining alone
will not resolve problems. There's a lot of work that needs to be done and Governments and the Social Partners are not
doing enough. And we need more money on the table "emphasised Vince Farrugia.

EU-Turkey Relations

Vince Farrugia spoke at the REX meeting on the
Joint Consultative Committee Report on the state of the EU-Turkey
relations. Vince Farrugia said that it is
not the role of the EESC to comment on the
implementation  by democratically elected
Governments on policies and actions voters choose to
vote for in free elections. The EESC however must be very strong where
Governments as
in the case of Tayyip Erdogan where we see the attempt
and actually act to capture the courts, silencing media critics and
attack protestors.
Introducing controversial or wrong headed policies is an elected
prerogative but EESC must openly criticise and condemn when Governments
deliberate and act in the interest only
of its supporters and not of national interests and when Governments as
in the
case of Turkey become not just hostile to their opponents but deaf to
their companies. It is our worse where as in the case
of Turkey voters are not only pulverised with tear gas and water cannons
but the Government talks of tinkering with the constitution to
perpetuate the rule of the existing Government. True democrats aspiring
European Union membership must be endowed fundamentally with an
that the minority who did not vote for them are as much citizens of
country as those who did and are entitled to a respectable hearing.

Internal Market Issues

Vince Farrugia
also spoke at the meeting on the exploratory
opinion demanded by the EU Lithuanian Presidency on the Unexplored Economic
Potential of EU Competitiveness with reference to state-owned
enterprises and on the Commission Communication on Smart
regulation and Response to the needs of Micro, Small and Medium sized

Vince Farrugia
also took the podium on the Communication from the Commission on the Setting up
A European Action Plan and also gave his reaction on the Green Paper on Unfair
Trading practices in the Business to business food and non-food Supply Chain in Europe.

European Year of Citizens 2013

As member of EYC
Committee Vince Farrugia also spoke on the  performance of the Commission in the execution of the 25 promises made by the
Commission in its Citizens Report of 2010 and expressed his views on
the 12 new commitments in the Commission 2013
Citizenship Report.

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