EU Budget agreement will be key for economic recovery

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November, 2020 at 12:57 pm by Andre Camilleri

MBB welcomes inter-institutional agreement and urges swift ratification

The European Parliament and EU member states in Council have agreed on 10 November on a €1.8 trillion financial package for the next seven years (2021-2027). This follows the provisional deal in Council earlier in July and arrives at an opportune time to start injecting direct investment in the economy as from early next year. For this, the MBB urges all parties to ratify the agreement as swiftly as possible.

MBB CEO Joe Tanti lauded the agreement, stating that, “This deal builds on the one agreed by EU leaders in July. This is the biggest financial package agreed at EU-level and reflects the desperate need for investment in member states to recover from the current Covid-19 crisis. It also continues building on the long-standing EU priorities to gradually transit to a green and digital economy.”

Tanti also welcomed the additional €4 billion allocated to the Horizon Europe programme compared to the July deal in Council. “Research and innovation are the key elements to meet the EU’s objectives to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Current technologies will not allow us to achieve the emission reduction targets of 55% and beyond identified by the European Commission in the European Green Deal. It is through public investment complemented by private sector resources that future technology will be enabled, allowing us to make this leap forward,” he ascertained.   

“It is also crucial that EU funds allocated to Malta continue to be disbursed fully, efficiently and in the most-timely manner. Public infrastructure has not kept up with the economic growth experienced in recent years. Smart and long-term planning is required to ensure that economic growth is complemented with state-of-the-art facilities, modern transport systems and a business-friendly eco-system. Most of all, we also need to ensure that the economic development is not detrimental to the environment and people’s quality of life,” he continued.

Finally, Tanti recalled the endless opportunities for local business to benefit from EU funding through different channels, be it from national structural funds, EU guaranteed financial instruments, or direct EU grants. “We acknowledge that accessing EU funding is highly competitive and businesses, particularly SMEs, may feel helpless at times. To this end, we are currently working on a report that looks into identifying the perceptions and practical challenges businesses encounter to identify opportunities, submit proposals and implement projects. This will help us understand and to make recommendations on the awareness, structural and practical support that companies need to become more successful in tapping EU funding, which ultimately benefits them and the economy in general,” Tanti concluded.

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