Malta to get €1.12 billion in EU funds
Malta has successfully managed to obtain up to €1.12 billion in EU funds for the period 2014 to 2020, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced this evening.
Notwithstanding the cut to the overall EU budget, Malta's EU funds will be higher than were it to remain an Objective 1 region during this period.
The deal is significant as it is juxtaposed against Europe's worst economic crisis in decades, the government said.
The agreement is a result of over a year-and-a-half of negotiations following the European Commission's original proposal in June 2011, on the basis of which Malta would have received a total of €715 million under Cohesion Policy and Agriculture.
Over the months, the Prime Minister held discussions with the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and fellow Heads of Government in Brussels, Malta and other capitals to explain the effects that such dramatic cuts would have on Malta.
The government said in a statement that Malta's allocation includes an additional €20 million of directly-allocated funds made up of cohesion policy and agriculture funds than the country would have obtained if it had it had retained its Objective 1 (less-developed) status.
The Prime Minister stressed that Malta should not be penalised for its economic progress after just one full financing period. He reiterated that any result which saw further cuts in Cohesion Policy would not be acceptable to Malta as Cohesion Policy funds were an important way to spur economic recovery in the EU through a sustained level of EU programmes and funding.
The government said it decided that a good part of the additional allocation under agriculture will be earmarked for Gozo.
Malta will also benefit from a number of measures to facilitate absorption and reduce unnecessary pressures on the national budget.
Dr Gonzi described the agreement as a landmark result and a major success for Malta.