EU Must Be More Comprehensible for People, Concur Parliamentary Chairs

French Senate chief Gerard Larcher (left), Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta Angelo Farrugia (centre) and Slovak Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (right). (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 7 (TASR) – Europe should strive to be more comprehensible for the public, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta Angelo Farrugia said at a press conference following the summit of EU parliamentary chairs in Bratislava on Friday.

According to him, it’s a “Brussels bubble” what people are currently witnessing instead.

Malta is due to assume the EU Presidency from Slovakia as of January 1, with Farrugia planning to organise a summit similar to that in Bratislava. “It’s an excellent platform for debate,” he said.

“The fundamental principle during the Maltese Presidency must be an effort to ensure an intelligent Europe. We have to look at challenges and opportunities alike. We can’t weep over Brexit, we must go on … to launch a process of reinvigorating Europe,” he said.

The key priorities of the Maltese presidency should include solidarity, security, migration and long-term economic development for the EU. As for the latter, “this can only be made via investments into education and energy – the most important assets we have,” said Farrugia, adding that other key priorities are the common and digital markets, and the problem of poverty.

Meanwhile, Estonia will assume the EU Presidency in the second half of 2017 – earlier than planned, due to Brexit. “We’ll focus on consensus,” said President of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) Eiki Nestor.

Estonia hasn’t approved its Presidency programme yet, but it’s already certain that Brexit, migration, common market, digital market will feature highly on the agenda, said Nestor.

French Senate chief Gerard Larcher, for his part, pointed to the need of making Europe closer to the people. Other key issues debated at the summit and still remaining on the agenda include terrorism, relations with Russia, the Syrian crisis and migration from the destabilised Africa, added Larcher.