Values and rights, rule of law, security
#TheFutureIsYours Looking after citizens’ freedoms
The Europe I Want — 2: Protecting and Promoting European Values
While protecting and promoting human rights and values, including those of minority groups, and combating racism, discrimination, violence and terrorism, the European Union must guarantee an environment that protects these values and the laws that flow from them. With a panel of speakers from different fields we discuss next steps for a Union of Equality and Security Union. Participation in this discussion will be online, in Maltese. This is the second public meeting in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a Europe-wide initiative that gives an opportunity to citizens who are interested in giving their ideas and views on various topics for building the Europe of the future.
Event reportA panel of speakers in different fields from Gozo discussed the protection and promotion of European values: Dr Sean Zammit (Association for Gozitan Employees in Malta); Mario Borg (Gozo Regional Development Authority); ERIC Grech (Gozo University Group); Daniel Borg (Gozo Business Chamber); MEP Josianne Cutajar (S&D); Dr Samuel Azzopardi (Member of the Committee of the Regions); Dr Elena Grech (Head of the European Commission Representation in Malta). Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Hon. Carmelo Abela and SEM’s Chief Executive Mandy Falzon followed the discussion to report conclusions and recommendations to the Conference on the Future of Europe. The discussion focused on the way forward in strengthening the European values of democracy, solidarity, equality and social justice. These were the main conclusions that emerged: • The European Union should have one value — tolerance — not only of opinions, but of ensuring that inclusiveness is realised in practice. While great advances have been made, the European Union should see that in all that it does protect the common good, not of the majority, but of all the minorities that exist. • While an essential element that makes us Europeans is rights in every area, it must be ensured that they do not remain on paper, but that they are concretely beneficial. • The economy should not be the ultimate goal of the European Union’s policies, but the economy must translate into social welfare. • The EU should pay more attention to the needs of the outlying countries, which are disadvantaged in many respects compared to countries that are connected in many ways, while our country is limited to air and sea travel. On the other hand, our country should exploit the opportunities that the green and digital transition will bring, which can reduce these handicaps and further unlock the potential of islands. • For the European project to succeed, the European Union can no longer apply its policies and laws to everyone on an equal footing, but must take account of the particular situations of islands. • European citizens want to see more concrete actions touching their daily lives, such as a more decent minimum wage, because they are these cases when it comes to solidarity on the ground. • It is good for workers and young people to have opportunities to improve their future, but not everyone is a young person or a worker. When asked where they would like the European Union to see another ten years, the speakers mentioned: the main focus on the environment; the concrete involvement of each country in taking on the burden of immigration; A Europe tolerant in every sense and on the ground; A fair, merciful, tolerant and solidarity-based Europe, which listens, evaluates and acts; A Europe that empowers the people; A Europe that takes account of islands.
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