SME Chamber

Vince Farrugia at EU – Croatia Joint Steering Committee

 Director General GRTU an Malta Employers Councillor at EESC, Vincent Farrugia has this week participated actively in the 11th Meeting of the EU-Croatia Joint Steering Committee as a member of the Committee. In his presentation Vince Farrugia congratulated Croatia as the new EU member as from 1st July 2013 and stressed the importance of all social parties and civil society coming together closer then ever before to devise an effective Post-Accession Strategy.


EESC Councillor Vince Farrugia said that while Croatia, like the other EU new members of the EU's  recent enlargements, had good and effective Pre-Accession Strategies, but he notices that like the 12, Croatia has not  really effective Post-Accession Strategies. The impact  of this  absence was that there was not much determined focus with the result that funds and efforts did not have the desired immediate positive impact on a wide cross section of social and economic sectors. On the contrary many SME's and small and micro  enterprises especially suffered substantially and as a result the EU image suffered unnecessarily.

Malta, even during these post economic recession and sovereign debt crisis hard times, proved that the EU Economic and Social model if applied correctly works.

"Malta like other EU member states is feeling the pinch of economic tightening but we have no unemployment crisis and definitely no youth unemployment and  financial budget discrepancies or any hint of a problem related to our sovereign debt. For the EU Model to give positive results including jobs and economic growth it is important that Budgetary Surveillance and adherence to the Stability and Growth targets and new European Economic Semester rules are allowed to work in a well geared institutional framework. This requires extensive capacity building which is extended to the private sector and not just restricted to the confines of the Public Sector.

It is important that the National Report Programme is drafted with the full participation of all stakeholders and seen to be opened by the social partners. It is essential that Croatia's National Council for Economic and Social Development takes effective control of the negotiation and drafting of a Nation Social and Economic Contract aimed at seeing Croatia through the difficult early years" stressed Vincent Farrugia.

"Croatia has great opportunities in the EU and the EU will benefit with the addition of Croatia. But Croatia is joining at a difficult period and that is why the social partners must not leave it up to the politicians in Government to own the whole tremendous project of extensive reforms".

Success comes earlier and more all incorporating if you work together and share the burden that will surely lead to shared greater prosperity for all Croatian in the shortest possible time frame" concluded Vince Farrugia.


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