Malta to sign social sector agreement with Portugal

Malta to sign social sector Memorandum of Understanding with Portugal, Social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia says


Social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia
Social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia

Social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia today said that Mats and Portugal will be signing a far-reaching social sector Memorandum of Understanding.

In a meeting with the Portuguese minister of solidarity, employment and social security Pedro Mota Soares, Farrugia explained that EU membership facilitated bilateral collaboration between the two countries, adding that the agreement which covers the social sector will be signed on Wednesday.

"Our countries have a very good relationship and we look forward to sharing Portugal's experience in the reaching out programme," Farrugia said, adding that the Leap programme would lead to cutting on the abuse of the welfare system and ensure that "the silent majority" benefit from services "they deserve."

Farrugia said that the Leap outreach scheme which will commence in October and government had a number of other programmes in place, including the youth guarantee project and the tapering of social benefits for people returning to work. 

Soares said Malta and Portugal will be working closely and exchange best practices as the two countries implement a number of social programmes. 

"Social justice must be used to protect the most vulnerable people," he said, pointing out the difficult period Europe is going through at the moment. 

The Portuguese minister said that the Maltese model offered a good insight into the importance of creating a strong social network and involving civil society in the welfare system.