GRTU Gozo consultation meeting on EU funding proposals

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GRTU Gozo consultation meeting on EU funding proposalsIn July Government launched a public consultation on the Programming of European Funds for Malta 2014-2020. The basis of this consultation is a document outlining Government’s vision and Malta ad the EU’s priorities on which the funds will be spent.

GRTU recently held a consultation meeting for its members in Gozo, saying that it is “increasing its efforts in Gozo and wants to directly service Gozo enterprises in order to make their voices heard.”

The aim of the meeting was to explain to those present the Government’s proposals and gather their feedback on what funds they feel they need to help the country reach the objectives outlined.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Joe Attard, the presentation was delivered by Ms Abigail Mamo and the meeting was organised Ms by Joanna Mifsud who is responsible for membership of the GRTU in Gozo.

During the meeting GRTU emphasised that the consultation stage is very important, as following this stage the Government will finalise a document, which is then agreed with the European Commission, detailing how it intends to spend the €1.1B. “If someone or something is left out it will be very difficult to have it included at a later stage as it will be a closed deal.”

GRTU’s EU Desk explained that the funds will be focused on five key areas of investment namely: education, the environment, the private sector, healthcare facilities and social inclusion. “The vision is divided in three funding priorities covering eleven so-called thematic objectives.”

A detailed presentation outlining each thematic objective was delivered and a fruitful discussion was held. From the discussion the following points came out:

Funds to facilitate the movement between the two islands both for goods and people not only in the long term but also in the short, immediate term.

Funds to increase the efficiency of the Gozo channel such as a shuttle service.

Funds to increase communication between the two islands on weekends for example for pharmacies that have run out of important pharmaceuticals.

Funds for the furniture manufacturing industry who are suffering heavily and have not recuperated since Malta joined the EU and imports started to dominate.

Funds and incentives to promote the Maltese product and buying form Malta rather than importing.

Grants and incentives to buy machinery and vehicles similar to the previous scheme which also reduced registration tax.

More help to apply for funds.

Funds for agricultural related industries such and agri-tourism. This sector needs to be made eligible for funding as rights now it is regarded as agriculture and is excluded from funding.

Funds for organic farming as it is currently not competitive and sustainable to invest in this sector.

Funds for crafts sector to invest in machinery and improvements of their workshops as well as embellishing the crafts village to Ta` DBiegi as a whole.

Funds for repair docks for excursion boats. Presently only fisherman use the Marsaxlokk yard for repairs. The private excursion boats should also have the facility available in Malta at a reasonable price as currently it is only sustainable to go to Sicily for repairs.

Funds for embellishment of tourist accommodation and investment in renewable energy sources.

“This feedback together with other formal submissions already received are being send to the Government as part of GRTU’s formal submission,” the GRTU concluded.

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