Malta not invited to Prague, did
not seek invitation
Foreign Minister Joe Borg yesterday confirmed with The Malta Financial
and Business Times that Malta was not invited to the small states forum
on the coming intergovernmental conference on the EU Constitution.
"Malta has its own position on the proposed treaty for an EU Constitution.
The thrust of the Maltese position has already been expressed by Prime
Minister Eddie Fenech Adami during the EU Council of Ministers meeting
in Thessaloniki in June."
Minister Joe Borg told The Malta Financial and Business Times that Malta
will be presenting its position during the IGC in Rome in October. "We
are ready to work with other countries who agree with our position and
even independently of other countries."
This newspaper can also confirm that the Maltese government did not
seek invitation to the conference.
EU member and future members, all small states, met in Prague on Monday
to define a common position for the upcoming IGC. Deputy foreign ministers
from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia,
Slovenia and Sweden were invited to the conference.
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg turned down the invitation.
Organised by the Czech foreign ministry, the aim of the forum was to
generate a concerted strategy to achieve major changes in the draft
European constitution on EU structures, prepared by the Convention.
Last week, German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, told his Czech counterpart
Cyril Svoboda that the European Union could find itself in crisis if
no agreement on the Constitution is found by next spring. He advised
the Czechs "not to unravel the package further".
Yesterday MLP EU affairs spokesperson Evarist Bartolo said the government
was duty bound to explain why Malta had not attended the Prague conference.
According to Bartolo, international press reports did not reveal whether
Malta had been invited or not, although both versions had been carried
in the international press.
"In Prague small states have agreed that every Member State should
each have a Commissioner. They have also agreed that every Member State
should have the opportunity to hold the Presidency of the European Union."
Bartolo said the 15 small states met at the start of this week and agreed
on a common position for the IGC in Rome, saying that the proposed Constitution
favours the large Member States such as France, the United Kingdom and
"The Maltese government has a big responsibility in safeguarding
our countrys interests within the EU institutions because the
decisions taken in these institutions will be affecting Maltese and
Gozitan families in every aspect of their lives. If we dont make
ourselves heard now our interests will be negatively affected."