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