[WATCH] Single Market should be harnessed to its full potential, PM tells European Council Summit

Prime Minister Robert Abela emphasises need for prompt implementation of legal framework ensuring fair access to crucial products like medicines.

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Malta continued to stress the importance of working towards harnessing the full potential of the Single Market during a European Council Summit held over the past days.

Prime Minister Robert Abela emphasized the need for the prompt implementation of a legal framework ensuring fair access to crucial products like medicines.

He explained that the strategic agenda priorities of the EU for the next five years must address competitiveness in the context of environmental and digital transitions. In this regard, the Prime Minister described small and medium-sized enterprises as key catalysts that must continue to be incentivized for the competitiveness of Member States.

At the European Council, member state leaders agreed on the next institutional cycle with nominations for the highest positions in European institutions, primarily the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The leaders also discussed the European Union's strategic agenda for the next five years.

A number of topics were discussed during the meeting, including Ukraine and the Middle East.

Regarding Ukraine, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council signed an agreement with the Ukrainian President on security. The agreement included safeguards reflecting Malta's policy of neutrality and non-alignment, government said.

Abela stated that Malta was clear about its position, and the agreement with Ukraine explicitly mentions these safeguards twice. Furthermore, the Council's conclusions, referenced by Malta, state that the agreement's provisions cannot be altered without the unanimous consent of the European Council.

Malta also continues to unreservedly condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine and provides humanitarian support to the Ukrainian people. Regarding Ukraine, European leaders also discussed developments in negotiations related to Ukraine's EU membership and welcomed the fourteenth package of sanctions adopted against Russia.

On the Middle East, the leaders reiterated their call for a permanent cessation of hostilities in Gaza and the unconditional release of hostages following the Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7.

Robert Abela remarked that Malta has continued to be a significant voice consistently advocating for a permanent ceasefire in the Middle East. He said that the International Court of Justice's order for Israel to end its military operation in Rafah should be fully respected. Alongside the European leaders, the Prime Minister mentioned that Malta remains in contact with the European Commission's services and the World Health Organization to contribute to medical evacuation efforts.