“A happy, healthy society requires a pleasant environment. We know that the greening of our environment – and economy – can only occur through a collaborative effort with all players, public or private.”

Last Monday, with the presentation in Parliament of Budget 2022,  we revealed our goals and ambitions for a modern, sustainable, and socially just Malta. We promised a budget that would shape the sort of country we want to create for our children, an

d that is what we delivered.

As Parliamentary Secretary for European funds, it was particularly satisfying to finally share this comprehensive vision, which will in so many aspects be supported by European Union funding, achieved through careful planning and intense negotiations in Brussels.

In fact, presentation of this budget came just seven days after Malta’s Recovery and Resilience Plan received it’s final approval from the European Union Council of Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) for which I was prese

nt in Luxembourg. This ambitious plan, which includes 17 investment projects and 30 reforms will be financed through a grant of about €320 million of European Union Funds. A substantial number of projects included in our Recovery and Resilience Plan feature in last week’s Budget speech.

The coming seven years will enjoy the largest allocation in our history as EU Member States – 2.27 billion Euro

– which will be put to good use in a myriad sectors, and which will reach and impact the lives of thousands, as indicated during this week’s budget speech.

I was particularly pleased to observe the feedback on the allocation of EU funding towards the well-being of our soc

iety. The completion of a new hospital for acute psychiatric care will provide specialised, quality care to those in need, and shows our commitment towards mental health. A new Blood Bank, which will not only collect donations, but also process and store stem cells and tissues, will also serve to elevate our health services.

A happy, healthy society requires a pleasant environment. We know that the greening of our environment – and economy – can only occur through a collaborative effort with all players, public or private. We are providing businesses with strong incentives to go green, and to prosper sustainably. The budget is also nudging individuals to transition to cleaner modes of transport and energy, with considerable grants for electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and heavy investment in their infrastructure, including the installation of charging points across the islands.  It is also envisaged that a new landing facility will be built in St. Paul’s Bay to encourage alternative use of transport. A new nearly-carbon neutral school will also be built in Msida.

Government will also play its part in the necessary transition to a green and digital way of life. EU funding will also be assisting in the digitising of our maritime registry, which will be increasing our efficiency, and boosting our reputation in this international sector. The shore-to-ship project, currently underway at Grand Harbour, will now be extended to the Freeport, which will result in a literal breath of fresh air to Birżebbuġa’s residents and neighbouring towns.

European Union funds will also be directed towards our education system with the aim of reaching today’s young generation and encourage them to continue in their education pathway or else be trained in the new skills that a green and digital econo

my will require in the very near future.  The importance of training, up-skilling and re-skilling of our workforce was in fact a major theme in this year’s budget speech.

 

Despite the challenges of the past year, Government has delivered a comprehensive, social budget, which will sustain our communities for years to come. That is the mark of a truly social-democrat and progressive administration.

 

Il-budget li tressaq ġimgħa ilu fil-Parlament mill-Ministru tal-Finanzi u x-Xogħol Clyde Caruana huwa wieħed li juri tassew il-kuxjenza soċjali tal-Gvern Laburista u faċilment nistgħu insejħulu bħala l-aktar budget soċjalment ġust li tressaq għall-approvazzjoni tal-Parlament. Mal-aspett soċjali tal-budget ta’ din is-sena żdiedet ukoll id-dimensjoni ambjentali li ingħatat ukoll importanza kbira għaliex mingħajr l-ebda dubju, l-ambjent li ngħixu fih huwa kontributur ewlieni lejn l-aqwa kwalita tal-ħajja li rridu li jkollu l-poplu tagħna.

Id-diskors tal-budget kien miżgħud b’inizjattivi u proġetti li se jgħinu bil-bosta lill-aktar setturi vulnerabbli tas-soċjeta li qed ngħixu fiha u fl-istess waqt jagħti spinta kbira ‘l quddiem lejn l-isforzi ta’ pajjiżna biex jilħaq miri ambjentali importanti li aħna kommessi li nilħqu, jiġifieri dak li nnaqqsu drastikament l-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonju. Dan ukoll huwa importanti ħafna għal pajjiżna biex mhux biss inkunu fid-direzzjoni ta’ dak li qed titlob l-Unjoni Ewropea, jiġifieri li l-Ewropa tkun ħielsa mill-emmissjonijiet sas-sena 2050 iżda wkoll għaliex nemmnu fil-ħtieġa li żgħar kemm aħna żgħar, pajjiżna wkoll irid jagħti sehmu biex jitreġġa’ lura il-fenomenu tat-tibdil fil-klima li wara kollox, jista’ wkoll ikun ta’ theddida għall-pajjiżna u l-poplu tagħna.

F’dak li huwa l-qasam soċjali, mingħajr dubju l-pensjonanti qegħdin ikomplu jiġu mgħejjuna. Għas-seba’ sena konsekuttiva ingħataw żieda fil-pensjoni tagħhom li hija ferm aktar minn dik mogħtija lil kulħadd. Barra minn hekk ser titnaqqas ukoll it-taxxa għal dawk il-pensjoni li jiddeċiedu li jibqgħu jagħtu sehmhom fid-dinja tax-xogħol. Fost aktar miżuri soċjali mħabbra fid-diskors tal-budget insibu ż-żieda fl-għajnuna supplimentari lill-pensjonanti u aġġustament ieħor fil-pensjoni tar-romol. Dawk l-anzjani li ma jikkwalifikawx għall-pensjoni kontributorja se jaraw ukoll żieda sostanzjali fil-pensjoni tagħhom. L-anzjani li huma intitolati għall-għajnuna supplimentari u li għandhom ‘l fuq minn 80 sena se jkunu intitolati għall-mediċini b’xejn mingħajr il-ħtieġa tat-test tal-mezzi.

Anke għal dawk l-anzjani li jibqgħu jgħixu fil-kommunita bl-għajnuna tal-carer, l-allowance għalihom se tkun qed tiżdied b’€1,000 oħra fis-sena. Hemm ukoll żieda sostanzjali fl-allowance għat-tfal b’diżabilita u minn din il-miżura biss se jgawdu mal-1,700 familja.

Il-Fondi Ewropej se jkunu ta’ sostenn importanti għall-budget ta’ din is-sena. Diversi inizjattivi ambjentali mħabbra jistgħu ikunu ffinanzjati mill-Pjan għall-Irkupru u r-Reżiljenza li jinkludi investimenti u riformi li se jlaħħqu it-€345 miljun. Dawn jinkludu l-inċentivi fiskali li tħabbru biex in-nies ikunu mħajjra jixtru karozzi elettriċi jew hybrid filwaqt li fondi Ewropej se jintużaw ukoll biex jinbnew charging pillars mal-pajjiż kollu. Thabbar ukoll ir-rinovar f’binjiet pubbliċi biex dawn jibdew jaħdmu b’aktar effiċjenza fl-użu tal-enerġija filwaqt qed ikun ippjanat il-bini ta’ skola ġdida fl-Imsida li se sservi bħala mudell ta’ kif jistgħu jibnew l-iskejjel li jkunu kważi ħielsa għal kollox mill-emmissjonijiet.

Se nkomplu ninkoraġġixxu wkoll l-użu ta’ mezzi alternattivi ta’ trasport, u Fondi Ewropej se jintużaw biex jinbena post ġdid ta’ irmiġġ f’San Pawl il-Baħar. Biex inkomplu nnaqqsu l-inkonvenjent għan-nies ta’ Birżebbuġa se jinbeda wkoll il-proġett Shore-to-Ship fil-Freeport biex il-bastimenti li jitrakkaw hemmhekk jieħdu l-provista tal-elettriku tagħhom mill-grid nazzjonali u b’hekk ikunu jistgħu jitfu l-magni u jonqsu l-emmissjonijiet.

Se nkunu nistgħu nagħmlu użu mill-Fondi Ewropej anke biex inħarrġu aktar liż-żgħażagħ tagħna fil-ħiliet ġodda meħtieġa għall-bidla lejn ekonomija diġitali li pajjiżna jrid ikompli jgħaddi minnha fix-xhur u s-snin li ġejjin. Irridu li ferm aktar żgħażagħ ikomplu jistudjaw jew jitħarrġu wara li jagħlqu s-16-il sena. Anke fil-qasam tas-saħħa se ngħinu b’Fondi Ewropej biex jinbena l-isptar ġdid għall-mard mentali akut u anke l-Blood, Tissue and Cell Centre, ċentru tad-demm bl-aqwa teknoloġija li se jkun ukoll ċentru ta’ riċerka f’dan il-qasam.

Meta wieħed jifli sewwa l-miżuri u proġetti mħabbra fil-budget għas-sena d-dieħla ma jistax ma jkunx konvint li dan kien tassew eżerċizzju qawwi ta’ ġustizzja soċjali u kuxjenza ambjentali li Gvern soċjali demokratiku u progressiv biss jista’ joffri lill-poplu tagħna. Kburi li għal dan il-pjan ta’ miżuri u investimenti, se nkunu qed nikkontribwixxu wkoll b’Fondi Ewropej biex ikollna Malta li aħna rridu għal uliedna.

 

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Parliamentary Secretary for Euroepan Funds at the Office of the Prime Minister

On many levels the State of the Union address delivered by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, was invigorating. First because on a European level she conveyed a sense of optimism for the future which wasn’t only symbolic. Secondly because Von der Leyen took the time to explicitly praise the reforms delivered in Malta’s justice system and which raised the democratic credentials and the stature of the Rule of Law in Malta.

The latter is no small feat in a European context whereby democratic values and the Rule of Law, as expounded in the State of the Union address, do play and will play an increasingly central role in the operation of the Union as it looks to tie them closely to the roll out of Cohesion and the rest of the European Funds – a development which the vast majority of the Maltese would welcome as shown by a recent poll.

It is stimulating therefore, to note that the efforts employed by the State of Malta are acknowledged on the international spectrum as they earn us a good repute.

It is equally stimulating to note that notwithstanding its size, with 90% of our population fully vaccinated our country contributed to a successful European roll out of the vaccine to fight the health crisis, which means that 72% of European population is now vaccinated. Moreoever, with hundreds of millions of doses in hand, Europe will prove its global leadership role in practice and ensure that vaccines reach every corner of the world.

In this light the Commission President underlined unity and collegiality as the cornerstones of Europe’s response. The message was clear: “When we act together we get better results in less time.” This chimes with the Maltese continued emphasis in European institutions on concerted efforts over unilateral action.

The Next Generation EU is a fundamental instrument that will fuel this sense of optimism for the future. It will be the driving force behind the necessary reforms in many a member state and it will enable the acceleration of a green economy and industry and the digital transformation. Such transitions are so crucial to our subsistence, sustainability and competitiveness. In a digital world they are also becoming deeply connected to our ability to generate decent employment opportunities for those who form part  of the present workforce and those who will join it shortly. We are bound to make sure we will bring about opportunities which guarantee acceptable income, but also a positive, sustainable and a good quality of life.

Better general economic and social conditions cannot be kept entirely distinct from a discussion on migration which emerged as an important theme in the Commission President’s address. Legal migration pathways to able, skilled or unskilled workers, are essential to sustain the the needs and the goals of an ageing European population, Malta included.

Von der Leyen pronounced the EU’s alarm on Climate Change and how the Union led the globe in turning Climate aims into legal commitments. Malta is in step in this climate action as we are actively pursuing our aim of becoming a climate neutral State, following the ideal by planning to channel the lion’s share of resources emanating from the Recovery and Resilience Facility to decarbonise and electrify transport, promoting alternative modes of transport, retrofitting private and public buildings, supporting clean energy initiatives and accelerating our development of a circular economy. Our plan was this week, not only approved by the European Commission but also lauded as one of the greenest of all European plans, by Von der Leyen herself, during her first official visit to Malta.

The State of the Union address by the President of the European Commission was a timely reminder that the Union as a bloc has what it takes to withstand adversity and not only survive but adopt a decisive global leadership role. It was also a timely sign for our country that the course we are onto is positive and our efforts are promising and convincing.

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Segretarju Parlamentari għall-Fondi Ewropej fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru

 

L-aħbar li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea approvat il-pjan tagħna għall-Irkupru u r-Reżiljenza fil-jiem li għaddew ipoġġi quddiemna responsabbilta’ kbira biex dak li fassalna f’dan il-pjan issa nibdew inwettquh.

Matul iż-żjara qasira li għamlet fostna l-President tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea Ursula Von Der Leyen ftit tal-jiem ilu hija kellha biss kliem ta’ tifħir għall-pjan li ressaqna biex nagħmlu użu mit-€316m li l-Unjoni Ewropea qegħda tagħtina bħala għotja biex inwettqu dan il-pjan. Hija saħansitra stqarret li meta qegħdin niddedikaw 54% ta’ din in-nefqa għal inizjattivi favur l-ambjent f’pajjiżna, qegħdin inpoġġu l-pjan tagħna fil-kategorija ta’ l-aktar pjani favur l-ambjent fost dawk kollha mressqa mill-Istati Membri tal-Unjoni Ewropea.

L-ambjent huwa prijorita ewlenija fil-ħidma tagħna. Aħna konxji mill-effetti li t-tibdil fil-klima qed ikollu fuq id-dinja kollha. Nafu li jekk ma jsir xejn, il-perikli li jista’ jġib miegħu it-tisħin tad-dinja għall-ġenerazzjonijiet li ġejjin jistgħu ikunu kbar u devastanti. Nafu li pajjiżna x’jitlef biss għandu minn dan kollu, u aħna żgħar kemm aħna żgħar, irridu nagħtu wkoll is-sehem tagħna biex realta’ li nħolqot min-nies tad-dinja tiġi indirizzata u nibdew narawha titreġġa’ lura.

Huwa għalhekk li qegħdin nagħtu importanza partikolari lill-ambjent. Ser ikunu qed jintefqu mhux inqas minn €189m minn dan il-fond għal inizjattivi ambjentali. Se nkunu qed nirrinovaw binjiet pubbliċi u privati, skejjel u sptarijiet biex isiru effiċjenti fl-użu tal-enerġija u nnaqsu l-emmissjonijiet. Se nibnu skola ġdida li tkun kważi ħielsa mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonu biex isservi ta’ mudell għal skejjel oħra.

Se nibnu faċilita ġdida ta’ irmiġġ fl-inħawi ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar jew Buġibba. Se ninċentivaw lis-settur privat biex jixtri aktar karozzi, muturi u roti li jaħdmu bl-elettriku filwaqt li ser nibdlu l-karozzi tas-servizz pubbliku għal dawk elettriċi. Se ngħinu wkoll biex jibdew jinbidlu l-vetturi tat-trasport pubbliku ħalli jkunu jaħdmu wkoll bl-elettriku.

Dawn huma kollha inizjattivi immirati biex jonqsu l-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonju fl-arja li huma l-parti l-kbira tal-kagun li l-klima tad-dinja qegħda tisħon. Meta nkunu qed nagħmlu dan inkunu qegħdin nibżgħu għas-saħħa tal-poplu tagħna għax mingħajr l-ebda dubju t-tniġġiż fl-arja huwa kaġun ta’ ħafna mard. Ħdimna fl-imgħoddi biex naqqasna kemm flaħna l-emmissjonijiet li jniġġżu u tejjibna l-ħajja tan-nies meta waqqafna l-użu tal-Heavy Fuel Oil mill-power stations tagħna. Issa wasal iż-żmien li nagħmlu l-pass li jmiss li huwa li nikkumbattu l-emmissjonijiet minn kull sors li jistgħu jiġu, l-agħar wieħed fosthom ikun it-tniġġiż ġej mill-karozzi.

Fil-Pjan ta’ Rkupru u Reżiljenza hemm ukoll l-emfasi li qed tagħti l-Unjoni Ewropea u daqstant ieħor pajjiżna, biex isseħħ it-tranżizzjoni diġitali, jiġifieri li nkomplu nagħmlu l-ekonomija tagħna aktar moderna, aktar diġitali u intelliġenti. Se ninvestu biex insaħħu s-servizzi diġitali kollha offruti mill-Gvern u nsaħħu s-sistema tal-informatika tal-Gvern. Se nbiddlu sistemi sħaħ fl-isptar tagħna biex jiġu diġitaliżżati.

Fis-saħħa wkoll se nibnu ċentru ġdid tad-demm li jkun magħruf bħala Blood, Tissue and Cell Centre bl-aħħar teknoloġija f’dan il-qasam. Proġett ewlieni ieħor li se nwettqu b’dawn il-fondi huwa l-bini tal-kampus il-ġdid għall-Istitut tal-Istudji Turistiċi (ITS) biex inkomplu nsaħħu l-industrija turistika tagħna, li hija pilastru ewlieni tal-ekonomija tal-pajjiz.

Iż-żjara tal-President tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea Von Der Leyen fostna u l-approvazzjoni mill-Kummissjoni Ewropea għall-pjan tagħna wittiet it-triq biex issa nieħdu l-passi kollha meħtieġa biex nibdew inwettqu l-pjan li ħejjejna. Flimkien mal-bosta miżuri li ħa l-Gvern fl-aħħar sena u nofs se nkomplu noħorġu lil pajjiżna mill-effetti tal-pandemija u b’hekk nerġgħu naqbdu r-ritrmu tat-tkabbir li konna mdorrijin bih inqas minn sentejn ilu. B’hekk inkunu qed niżguraw li lill-poplu tagħna, lill-familji Maltin u Għawdxin inkomplu ntejbulhom il-livell tal-għajxien u nkomplu nġeddu lil pajjiżna flimkien.

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Segretarju Parlamentari għall-Fondi Ewropej fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru

Ix-xogħol konness mat-tmexxija tal-Fondi Ewropej f’pajjiżna huwa wieħed impenjattiv ħafna għax jinvolvi infieq ta’ fondi kbar li jeħtieġu skrutinju dettaljat mhux biss mill-awtoritajiet f’Malta iżda anke mill-Istituzzjonijiet Ewropej. Il-proġetti li nwettqu b’dawn il-fondi jkunu marbuta b’miri speċifiċi ta’ dati u ammonti ta’ infieq li jekk ma jintlaħqux ikun ifisser telf kbir ta’ fondi għal pajjizna.

Malta għandha track rekord tajjeb fl-infieq ta’ dawn il-fondi. Qegħdin fl-aħħar snin tal-implimentazzjoni tal-allokazzjoni ta’ fondi li kellha Malta għas-snin 2014-2020 u sa tmiem l-2023 irridu nkunu temmejna il-proġetti kollha li qed isiru b’dawn il-fondi.

Waqt li qed iseħħ dan kollu, konna għaddejjin b’xogħol sostanzjali ieħor biex nippreparaw il-programmi dwar kif se nonfqu l-allokazzjoni rekord ta’ €2.27 biljun li nrexxielna nġibu lejn Malta għas-snin 2021-2027. L-ewwel fost dawn il-programmi kien il-Pjan għall-Irkupru u r-Reżiljenza li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea allokat lill-Istati Membri kollha bħala għajnuna għall-irkupru mill-pandemija.

F’Lulju li għadda ħabbarna dan il-programm bi 17-il proġett ewlieni, b’nofs in-nefqa ta’ €345 miljun iddedikata lejn proġetti ambjentali u 26% ohra tan-nefqa iddedikati għal proġetti biex l-ekonomija tagħna tkun aktar diġitali u intelliġenti. Ressaqna dan il-programm quddiem il-Kummissjoni Ewropea u b’sodisfazzjoni għalina lkoll, dan issa ġie approvat u llum kellna fostna lill-President tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea, Ursula Von Der Lyen twasslilna d-deċiżjoni tal-Kummissjoni li tibda tgħaddilna l-flus allokati għal dan il-programm biex mill-ewwel nibdew naħdmu fuq it-twettieq tal-proġetti approvati.

Minn dan il-Fond ta’ Rkupru u Reżiljenza se nagħmlu investimenti ewlenin ta’ fejda għall-poplu tagħna. Ser inkunu qed nirrinovaw binjiet pubbliċi u privati, skejjel u sptarijiet biex isiru effiċjenti fl-użu tal-enerġija u nnaqsu l-emmissjonijiet. Se nibnu skola ġdida li tkun kważi ħielsa mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonu biex isservi ta’ mudell għal skejjel oħra.

Ser ninvestu f’toroq, pajsaġġi u spazji miftuħa u nibnu faċilita ġdida ta’ irmiġġ fl-inħawi ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar jew Buġibba. Ser ninċentiva lis-settur privat biex iżid il-bejgħ tal-karozzi, muturi u roti li jaħdmu bl-elettriku filwaqt li ser nibdlu l-karozzi kollha tas-servizz pubbliku għal dawk elettriċi. Ser ngħinu wkoll biex jibdew jinbidlu x-xarabanks tat-trasport pubbliku ħalli jkunu jaħdmu wkoll bl-elettriku.

F’dak li huwa diġitali ser ninvestu biex insaħħu s-servizzi diġitali kollha offruti mill-Gvern u nsaħħu s-sistema tal-informatika tal-Gvern. Fil-qasam tas-saħħa ħa nibnu ċentru ġdid tad-demm li jkun magħruf bħala Blood, Tissue and Cell Centre bl-aħħar teknoloġija f’dan il-qasam. Proġett ewlieni ieħor li se nwettqu b’dawn il-fondi huwa l-bini tal-kampus il-ġdid għall-Istitut tal-Istudji Turistiċi (ITS) biex inkomplu nsaħħu l-industrija turistika tagħna, li hija pilastru ewlieni tal-ekonomija tal-pajjiz.

Iż-żjara tal-President tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea Von Der Leyen fostna u l-approvazzjoni mill-Kummissjoni Ewropea għall-pjan tagħna hija prova oħra ta’ kemm ħdimna bil-għaqal biex fassalna dan il-pjan. Bl-istess determinazzjoni u ħeġġa issa nkomplu naħdmu biex inwettqu dak li ppjanajna ħalli l-poplu Malti jgawdi minn dan il-ġid li rnexxielna nakkwistaw għal pajjiżna.

 

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Segretarju Parlamentari għall-Fondi Ewropej fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru

Pajjiżna għandu rekord tajjeb ħafna minn fost l-Istati Membri kollha tal-Unjoni Ewropea, dwar kif jonfoq il-fondi Ewropej allokati lilu mill-Baġit Ewropew. Qed naħdmu bis-sħiħ biex l-allokazzjoni li kellha Malta għas-snin 2014-2020 tintefaq kollha u bħalissa ħafna proġetti ko-finanzjati minn dan il-programm qegħdin joqorbu lejn it-tmiem tagħhom peress li l-Kummissjoni Ewropea tagħtina żmien sa l-aħħar tal-2023 biex nagħlqu kompletament dan il-programm ta’ infieq.

Issa, l-isfida li għandna quddiemna fis-seba’ snin li bdew jgħoddu minn Jannar li għadda, hija li nonfqu id-doppju tal-fondi Ewropej li kellna fis-seba’ snin ta’ qabel. Għal dan il-perjodu, irnexxielna nġibu lejn Malta allokazzjoni rekord ta’ €2.27 biljun li rridu ninvestuhom bl-akbar għaqal biex pajjiżna jieħu l-benefiċċju massimu li jista’ minn dawn il-flus.

Kien għalhekk li wara xhur ta’ konsultazzjoni interna ma’ diversi entitajiet, fosthom ministeri u awtoritajiet governattivi, organiżazzjonijiet privati, għaqdiet mhux governattivi u esperti Maltin u barranin, bdejna nippubblikaw dokumenti li fihom it-tagħrif kollu dwar il-proposti tal-Gvern dwar kif ser jintefqu dawn il-fondi. L-ewwel bdejna bid-Dokument dwar il-Fond ta’ Rkupru u Reżiljenza b’nefqa proposta ta’ €345 miljun f’bosta inizjattivi, fosthom aktar minn nofs l-infieq li se jmur għal proġetti ambjentali u l-effiċjenza fl-użu tal-enerġija. Nittamaw li dalwaqt ikollna l-approvazzjoni tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea biex inkunu nistgħu nibdew inwettqu dan il-programm ta’ infieq.

Imbaghad ressaqna għall-konsultazzjoni pubblika id-dokument dwar il-Fond Soċjali Ewropew Plus bi proposti għal-nefqa ta’ €193 miljun li se ninvestuhom biex insaħħu l-opportunitajiet tax-xogħol għal kull settur tas-soċjeta, ninvestu f’edukazzjoni ta’ kwalita u ngħinu lil dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli fosthom dawk imċaħħda minn affarijiet materjali.

Għadna kif ipproponejnha dokument ieħor għall-konsultazzjoni pubblika din id-darba bi proposta għal nefqa ta’ €971 miljun mill-Fond ta’ Koeżjoni, mill-Just Transition Fund u mill-Fond Ewropew għall-Iżvilupp Reġjonali.

Fil-jiem li għaddew tajna d-dettalji dwar il-proposti tagħna għal dan l-infieq u issa qed nistennew ir-reazzjoni ta’ kull min hu interessat biex jagħtina l-kummenti tieghu dwar il-proposti tagħna. Qegħdin nipproponu biex fost affarijiet oħra, minn dawn il-Fondi Ewropej inwettqu dawn il-proposti:

  • Sptar ġdid għal mard mentali akut
  • Shore-to-Ship fil-Freeport f’Birżebbuġa
  • €60 miljun ta’ investiment dirett f’Għawdex
  • Charging Points għall-karozzi mal-pajjiż kollu
  • Ghotjiet diretti u strumenti finanzjarji lill-intraprizi kbar, zgħar u ta’ daqs medju għal investimenti għal efffiċjenza fl-enerġija u għall-qalba diġitali
  • Investimenti fil-provista tal-ilma u new water
  • Faċilita għall-ipproċessar ta’ skart organiku
  • Business Incubation Centre ġdid
  • “Green Corridors”, spazji miftuħa u tisħiħ tas-siti Natura 2000

Se nużaw dawn il-fondi biex inkomplu nagħtu spinta lill-ħidma tagħna biex nikkumbattu il-fenomenu tat-tibdil fil-klima għaliex irridu nilħqu l-miri ambizzjużi tal-Unjoni Ewropea li sas-sena 2050, l-Ewropa tkun ħielsa mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonju li huma l-kaġun tat-tisħin fil-klima tad-dinja.

Il-viżjoni tagħna hija waħda għat-tul u għaldaqstant qegħdin naraw li fil-proposti kollha li qed nagħmlu dwar kif se nonfqu l-Fondi Ewropej, nipproponu infieq li jkun qed jipprepara lill-pajjiżna għall-isfidi kollha li se jkollna quddiemna fis-snin li ġejjin, mhux biss l-isfidi ambjentali imma anke wkoll li pajjiżna jkompli jimmodernizza ruħu ħalli jkollu ekonomija diġitaliżżata u intelliġenti. Bit-twettieq ta’ din il-viżjoni tagħna inkunu qegħdin nassiguraw futur mill-aqwa għat-tfal u ż-żgħażagħ tagħna u għajxien aħjar għall-familji kollha Maltin u Għawdxin.

Il-kummenti jew suġġerimenti fuq il-proposti tagħna jistgħu jintbagħtu lil [email protected] sat-8 ta’ Ottubru li ġej.

 

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds at the Office of the Prime Minister

 

Though scientists had drawn attention to the reality of Climate Change and the risks it entailed to our planet and our subsistence, different states took different actions. If there were any remaining doubters the recent natural events surely obliterated any unreasonable doubt in the veracity and the imminence of Climate Change and its exorbitant effects. From desert-like temperatures in Sicily, to wildfires within European shores, and rain replacing snow in Greenland, such phenomena make for a dystopic setting and scary prospects.

Malta took off relatively late in its fight against Climate Change. When our neighbours were switching to renewable sources, our households were still reliant on the combustion of the very polluting Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) for electricity. The last turbine running on HFO was switched off in 2017. The decision to abandon HFO and shift to cleaner sources represents Malta’s first major action to reduce emissions and seriously act on Climate Change.

In our island’s scorching heat, local households have for years been capitalising on Government support to install photovoltaic cells, store energy in batteries and benefit from solar power.

Headways were made in mobility as government schemes paved the way for old polluting vehicles to get scrapped and new electric vehicles to replace them.

These changes were very important but nature is sending undeniable signs that it is time for determinate action. European funds are a cornerstone in our green and sustainable way forward.

Notwithstanding the socio-economic challenges posed by the encumbered health crisis, our objective is to recover in a way that is sustainable, equitable and green. Our Recovery and Resilience Plan makes €345 million available to grow in this direction.

We are steadfast to be a Climate Neutral State by 2050 and we are not for turning. A steep goal we may only attain on the back of a long-term waste management strategy and by decarbonising the building stock.

€78 million are availbale to renovate, green and retrofit public and private buildings starting with public schools and hospitals which will be subject to deep retrofitting with energy efficient measures. Such funds will facilitate investments in renewable energy around public spaces, roads and footpaths.

Considering that road transport remains our major contributor to generated emissions, substantial support through European funds is called for to sustain the efforts in place in decarbonising transport and address carbon neutrality. €111 million are planned to reach this goal.

The short term plan includes stimulating collective and multimodal transport tying in with the improved public transportation system. The latter will be substantially electrified in line with the rest of the road transport network, with its use further promoted as new groups will join youths and elders to ride for free. Resorting to alternative modes of transport is possible if it is made convenient and new ferry landings will help in that respect.

Rethinking the country’s urban core is an important element to carbon-neutrality. Positive prospects abound in this regard whence a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is finalised and implemented for the Valletta Region. Very much related to this is the regeneration of the town cores and public squares to create more open spaces free from cars.

This is the way charted to address the process siphoning life away, and start seeing positive results in climate action. Successive national budgets have centred around sustainability and our way forward will build on the several building blocks that were laid. It is a promising plan within a wider context of an integrated government policy shifting our country to a circular economy built on greening industry and the overall digital transformation.

We are making up for lost time through seriously aggressive policy and determinate action that will breed a new culture and bring results in sustainability.

 

“Notwithstanding the socio-economic challenges posed by the encumbered health crisis, our objective is to recover in a way that is sustainable, equitable and green. Our Recovery and Resilience Plan makes €345 million available to grow in this direction.”

 

 

 

  • Sptar ġdid għal mard mentali akut
  • Shore-to-Ship fil-Freeport f’Birżebbuġa
  • €60 miljun ta’ investiment dirett f’Għawdex
  • Charging Points għall-karozzi mal-pajjiż kollu
  • Ghotjiet diretti u strumenti finanzjarji lill-intraprizi kbar, zgħar u ta’ daqs medju għal investimenti għal efffiċjenza fl-enerġija u għall-qalba diġitali
  • Investimenti fil-provista tal-ilma u new water
  • Faċilita għall-ipproċessar ta’ skart organiku
  • Business Incubation Centre ġdid
  • “Green Corridors”, spazji miftuħa u tisħiħ tas-siti Natura 2000

Qed tiġi proposta nefqa ta’ €971 miljun ta’ Fondi Ewropej f’investimenti fil-pajjiż bħala parti mill-pakkett rekord ta’ €2.27 biljun li l-Prim Ministru Robert Abela irnexxielu jinnegozja għall-pajjiż f’Lulju tas-sena li għaddiet.

Dokument għall-konsultazzjoni pubblika dwar il-proposti għal dan l-investiment tnieda uffiċjalment mis-Segretarju Parlamentari għall-Fondi Ewropej fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi fil-jiem li għaddew. Id-dokument huwa mimli bi proposti li mistennija jibdew jitwettqu hekk kif wara li tintemm il-konsultazzjoni pubblika, id-dokument jintbagħat għall-iskrutinju tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea u wara li jkun approvat jibdew jitwettqu l-proġetti ippjanati.

Il-pubblikazzjoni ta’ dan id-dokumenti saret wara xhur ta’ konsultazzjonijiet ma’ diversi entitajiet tal-gvern fosthom ministeri u korporazzjonijiet u awtoritajiet statali, organiżazzjonijiet privati, organiżazzjonijiet mhux governattivi u s-soċjeta ċivili u anke esperti Maltin u barranin.

Id-dokument huwa bbażat fuq sitt prijoritajiet ewlenin li huma:

  • It-trawwim tal-kompetittivita u t-trasformazzjoni lejn ekonomija innovattiva u diġitali
  • Bidla lejn enerġija nadifa u ġusta, investimenti fl-ekonomija l-ħadra u ċirkulari u s-sostenibbilta tal-mobbilta urbana
  • Tisħiħ tal-konnettivita fil-pajjiż permezz tat-trasport
  • Soċjeta aktar soċjali u inklussiva
  • Trawwim ta’ żvilupp urban sostenibbli f’Għawdex
  • Faċilitata it-tranżizzjoni lejn in-newtralita klimatika (ħelisen mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karbonju)

Waqt konferenza tal-aħbarijiet fil-Forti Sant’Anġlu, is-Segretarju Parlamentari Zrinzo Azzopardi qal li b’dan il-pjan se jkunu immobilizzati riżorsi sostanzjali fl-ambjent, sabiex niffaċilitaw l-aċċess għall-finanzjament għall-intrapriżi, l-effiċjenza fl-użu tal-enerġija u biex nkomplu nkattru l-valur tal-wirt kulturali tagħna, fost oqsma oħra. Investimenti oħra se jiffukaw ukoll fuq-is-saħħa, l-edukazzjoni u l-ilma kemm tax-xorb kif ukoll in-new water. Se jsiru wkoll investimenti fil-qasam tal-immaniġġjar tal-iskart.

Il-Programm qed jindirizza ukoll l-bżonnijiet u opportunitajiet meħtieġa t’Għawdex fl-oqsma kollha tal-prijoritajiet li qegħdin jiġu mħabbra. Barra minn dan ser jiġu investiti madwar €60 miljun għall-iżvilupp urban sostenibli gewwa Għawdex.

Allokazzjoni oħra ta’ €207 miljun ser tkun investita f’inizjattivi biex  tissaħħaħ il-kompetittività tal-pajjiz, inkluz f’inizjattivi ghal kumpaniji ta’ daqs żgħir u medju (SMEs),  investiment fit-transiżżjoni lejn ekonomija innovattiva u diġitali, kif koll fir-riċerka u l-innovazzjoni. Ser jitwaqqaf ukoll Business Incubation Centre ġdid.

Waħda mill-miri ta’ dan il-pjan ta’ investiment hija l-bidla lejn enerġija nadifa, fejn ser jiġu allokati madwar €469 miljun. Il-bażi ta’ kif ser jintlaħaq dan jiffoka fuq l-użu efficjenti tal-enerġija u tnaqqis tal-emmissjonijiet li jikkontribwixxu għat-tibdil fil-klima, permezz ta’ sistemi differenti u sostenibbli ta’ mobbiltà fl-inħawi urbani tal-pajjiż. Dawn l-inizjattivi huma fid-direzzjoni tal-European Green Deal bil-għan li tittieħed azzjoni ħalli sas-sena 2050 tintlaħaq in-newtralità klimatika skond it-trattat ta’ Pariġi. Ser jinbnew “Green Corridors”, ġonna pubbliċi u tisħiħ tas-siti ta’ Natura 2000. Ser tkompli tissaħħaħ il-provvista tal-elettriku permezz ta’ interconnector ġdid u jinbnew faċilitajiet għall-ħażna tal-enerġija. Inizjattivi oħra huma favur li tisaħħaħ il-protezzjoni u l-konservazzjoni tan-natura u il-biodiversità.

Ser titkompla l-ħidma biex tkun żviluppata aktar il-konnettività ta’ Malta man-network TEN-T Ewropew billi tkompli titjieb l-infrastruttura biex din tkun tista’ tilqa’ għad-domanda kemm preżenti kif ukoll futura. Dan kollu ser isir b’nefqa indikattiva ta’ €52 miljun. Mill-Fond magħruf bħala Just Transition Fund ser issir investiment  ta’ €33 miljun biex jitkabbar il-proġett tax-Ship-to-Shore fil-Port il-Kbir u jsir ukoll proġett simili fil-Freeport f’Birżebbuġa. Dawn il-progetti se jwasslu ghal-arja aktar nadifa u ambjent aħjar ghal eluf ta’ persuni li joqgħodu fl-ibliet u l-irħula fil-viċinanzi. Fondi minn din l-allokazzjoni se jintużaw ukoll biex jiżdiedu ċ-charging points għall-karozzi tal-elettriku mal-pajjiż kollu.

Għal livell ta’ ħajja aħjar għaċ-ċittadini kollha ta’ pajjizna  ser jitjieb l-aċċess uġwali għal servizzi fl-edukazzjoni, it-taħriġ u tat-tagħlim matul il-ħajja, li jkunu inklussivi u ta’ kwalità. Dan isir bl-iżvilupp ta’ infrastruttura aċċessibbli li trawwem ir-reżiljenza għall-edukazzjoni u t-taħriġ online. Ser ikompli l-investiment bil-qawwi fil-qasam tas-saħħa fosthom bil-bini ta’ sptar ġdid għal mard mentali akut. B’allokazzjoni ta’ €150 miljun, il-poplu Malti se jibbenefika wkoll direttament minn servizzi li se jifaċilitaw il-ħajja ta’ kuljum. B’investiment fil-patrimonju kulturali taghna se ngħinu fil-prodott turistiku taħ pajjiżna u minnu ser ikun qed igawdi ukoll il-poplu tagħna.

Is-Segretarju Parlamentari Zrinzo Azzopardi temm jgħid li l-programm u l-interventi marbuta miegħu huma maħsuba biex ikomplu jissaħħu diversi setturi ekonomici, socjali w  ambjentali biex jigu indirizzaw il-htigijiet u l-opportunitajitet, anki dawk fit-tul. Huwa ħeġġeġ lil kull min huwa interessat jipparteċipa f’dan il-proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika biex jibgħat is-sottomissjonijiet tiegħu sat-8 ta’ Ottubru li ġej lil [email protected] sat-8 ta’ Ottubru. Id-dokument sħiħ għall-Konsultazzjoni Pubblika jista’ jitniżżel mis-sit elettroniku [email protected].

The past decade will be remembered for the rapid progress we made both in the social and physical infrastructure. Progress that was both a product of the experienced growth and a catalyst to sustain it. The next decade shall be marked with upgrading all that we have grown accustomed to – including the general standard of living on the island. The coming years must be characterised by sustainable measures as part of an integrated vision comprising social, environmental, and economic revival.

The injection of €971 million through Cohesion funds, the Just Transition Fund and the European Regional Development Fund shall form part of the comprehensive development that will be spearheaded.

Based on grants and loans, the lion’s share of such funding will find its way to enterprises and public entities in our quest to make meaningful improvement in energy efficiency, important progress in the digital transformation alongside strides in the realm of research and innovation.

In this light we published a document for public consultation inviting the public, representatives of public entities, the private sector and civil society to indulge in open forward-looking dialogue.

Built around six main priorities the document outlines the government’s vision, short to long-term goals which some of them are well within our grasp.

The strongest indicative allocation of €469 million is intended to promote the transition to clean energy, supporting investment in the green economy and sustainable urban mobility.

Reducing emissions is a short-term must in the face of Climate Change. Financial instruments will be set up to help industry players and private households to resort to energy efficient measures. Developing our own energy’s grid also through the second interconnector, will yield more security of supply for an island. Furthermore, we need to invest in energy storage.

As we consolidate quality in water preservation by investing in public infrastructure and the industry, we aim to accelerate the shift to a circular economy by improving the treatment of organic waste.

A carbon-neutral future could be made possible through a sustainable system of urban mobility that relies on a multitude of modes of transport and that primarily capitalises on surrounding waters.

Our way to the next level is digital. We can only survive in the European and global markets if we innovate digitally. For this reason we are indicatively allocating €207 million with the immediate goal to upgrade infrastructure for research and innovation, to digitalise public administration and the health sector. Funds will stimulate further growth by easing the SME’s access to finance.

This sustainable vision is set to improve the wellbeing of our society, which should grow into a more inclusive nature. €150 million are indicatively earmarked for better education that is made more accessible especially through distance learning. Continuous upgrades in our health system are necessary to keep on delivering for the best of our patients and in this realm mental health infrastructure will be prioritised. In fact it is being proposed that a new acute mental hospital will be built.

Attaining our aim to be a Climate Neutral state by 2050 will rely on our diligent maximisation of the Just Transition Fund. In line with the European Green Deal, ship-to-shore in the Grand Harbour and the Freeport will be facilitated as our road transport will be increasingly electrified through these funds.

No less than 10% will again be reserved for Gozo which is not a mere addendum to our holistic vision for the country. €60 million will be directed towards sustainable urban development in our sister Island, connectivity, spurring heightened economic activity, more work and sustainable tourism for the overarching aim to preserve its characteristics. Gozo will be enriched with open public spaces, accessible urban zones as it grows into an island that meets the dreams of its diverse population.

Our vision for the coming decade is clear and our aim is to grown sustainably into a modern, inclusive society that meets the aspirations of the whole population. €971 million are a substantial injection that will pave the way for the desired progress.

Everyone is invited to lodge their comments and proposals by 8th October on [email protected].

Electricity from the National Grid at Malta Freeport