UNITED KINGDOM/MALTA EUROPE ACTION PLAN
The United Kingdom and Malta have a shared history
and a close relationship. This action plan details initiatives
undertaken by the United Kingdom and Malta to continue their constructive
co-operation and to promote Malta's progress towards membership
of the European Union. It includes the joint activities of both
British and Maltese authorities. This is an evolving document
and will be updated as further joint initiatives currently under
consideration are agreed. This bilateral assistance complements
assistance being channelled through the European Union.
Well trained negotiators are crucial to Malta's
EU Accession. The United Kingdom continues to contribute bilaterally
by providing EU training to Maltese diplomats and public officers.
In 1999 this included the running of a specially designed EU negotiating
course for senior Maltese officials (mostly Permanent Secretaries)
from various Ministries within the Maltese Public Service. This
was followed up in 2000 with a course specifically designed for
middle ranking officialsagain from a wide range of government
Ministries. The courses were designed to provide Maltese officials
with the opportunity to acquire relevant experience in EU negotiating
methods. The courses were run at the United Kingdom's Civil Service
The United Kingdom can provide practical advice
on how to achieve effective EU Co-ordination between Government
Ministries. A senior UK official from the European Secretariat
of the Cabinet Office visited Malta in March 2000 to explain the
Cabinet Office's function and EU Co-ordination Structures within
The United Kingdom has offered arrangements
for Maltese officials to maintain direct contact with their UK
counterparts on issues connected with Malta's EU Accession, including
an invitation for a Maltese official to spend time with the CFSP
Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This visit
programme will be undertaken in July 2000 and is designed to demonstrate
how CFSP works between the member states of the European Union.
The visiting Maltese official will be shown how the UK:
contributes to CFSP working groups,
political committees and General Affairs Councils;
uses the Coreu network telegrams;
contributes to the formation of Joint
Actions and Common Positions;
engages in political dialogue with
third countries through CFSP;
integrates CFSP into the policy work
of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and within other Government
co-ordinates the implementation of
negative measures (sanctions);
arranges for parliamentary scrutiny
of CFSP instruments;
expresses its foreign policy views
in the European Union.
A bilateral meeting to address Export Control
measures was held in Malta on 29/30 March 2000. The meeting focused
on implementation of the EU aquis in areas of free movement
of goods, co-ordination of sanctions and implementation of dual
use regimes covering areas of legislation, enforcement and technical
equipment. A bilateral agreement on customs co-operation was signed
in on 27 June while other visits by UK technical experts will
follow in July 2000.
The Chairman of the British Safety Council visited
Malta in May 2000 to address a seminar focusing on Health and
Safety issues. The British Safety Council and the Health and Safety
Executive are now working closely with the Maltese Department
of Social Policy and the Occupational Health and Safety Unit on
the provision of advice on Malta's implementation of the acquis.
The United Kingdom's Government Actuary visited
Malta in January and April 2000 to promote collaboration on pension
reform and insurance regulation.
In January 2000 the British High Commission
in Malta arranged a programme of visits in the United Kingdom
for the leadership of the General Workers Union. The aim of the
visit was to strengthen ties between British and Maltese trade
unions, to discuss the implications of EU membership and to provide
practical advice on implementation of EU directives. Plans are
in hand for a similar visit by representatives of the Confederation
of Maltese Trade Unions in July 2000.
In June/July 2000 the Occupational Psychologist
from Malta's Employment and Training Corporation completed a three-week
training placement with the UK's Occupational Psychology Division
of the Department of Education and Employment. The placement provided
the opportunity to learn advanced guidance and counselling skills
and how to implement the acquis.
In June 2000 the Head of the European and International
Unit of the UK Home Office visited Malta to establish closer links
with Maltese officials responsible for JHA issues and to identify
areas of possible future co-operation. In addition, Britain and
Malta are considering the possibility of a bilateral agreement
on combating drugs and international crime.
The Centre for Political and Diplomatic Studies
in the UK will run a course between 16-29 July 2000 on Justice
and Home Affairs and preparing for membership of the EU. Two Maltese
officials will participate.
Our respective Ministers of Agriculture have
confirmed their intention of establishing closer co-operation
between the two Ministries at senior level. The Head of European
Union and International Policy Group in the British Ministry of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Food visited Malta in May 2000. The
visit provided a solid basis on which to build future relations.
Britain has agreed to provide the Maltese Ministry of Agriculture
and Fisheries with assistance in the drafting of a Maltese Rural
Development Programme. This will be followed up by a visit of
a UK expert to Malta. In addition, the United Kingdom has offered
to host a study visit for Maltese officials on handling the European
Union and Brussels negotiating skills.
Close Ministerial contact across government
between the United Kingdom and Malta is increasingly important
to both countries. The British Minister of State for Europe, Mr
Keith Vaz visited Malta in July 2000. We will work to maintain
this momentum as Malta moves towards EU membership.
The Personal Assistant to the Prime Minister
and Chairman of Malta's EU Negotiating Team, visited London in
January 2000. Meetings were held with the British Minister of
State for Europe, and numerous officials dealing with the European
Union at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Ministries.