Malta’s unspent EU funds was amongst the topics dealt with by Labour MEP Prof. Edward Scicluna on Friday, July 15, 2011, during a Public Discussion themed “Ejja u Staqsi”. Venue of the event was The Waterfront Hotel, Gzira.
This was the sixth Public Discussion held monthly by Prof. Scicluna on an Electoral District basis this year. These meetings are intended to keep the MEP’s constituents abreast of developments in the EU and to answer queries on issues related to it.
The main focus of the discussion was about the Parliamentary Question (PQ) tabled by Prof. Scicluna to the EU Commission regarding Malta’s EU funds appending record. The PQ is meant to elicit the Commission’s own version of the story behind the fact stated in its official Financial Report that only about half of the annual €122 million allocated to Malta under the Cohesion Programme for the years 2007/2013 has been spent up till now.
The Labour MEP wants to know whether funds have been lost to date and whether there is a risk that more funds will be lost in the future. At the current rate a new government administration in 2013 would have to spend some 300 to 400 million euro in just two years or else lose them for good.
Such information is not being made public by the Government on its website as is done with other Member states. Replies given to two PQs in the National Parliament on the subject lead to more questions than answers. The annual figures for EU funds received by Malta tabled by the reply do not tally with those published in the EU Financial Report for the period 2007/09, whilst from the other reply it results that €265,923 from funds allocated for a project in Gozo were indeed lost due to the late completion of the project.
Questions raised by the floor during the Public Discussion focused on innovation, culture and research; the La Valette Multi Manager Property Fund issue; Credit Rating Agencies; the role of the regulators in Malta; and the interpretation of Eurostat statistics regarding Malta’s actual financial situation.
The invited guests were then served refreshments at the beautiful roof garden of the hotel where they could also enjoy the various fireworks display taking place.