President calls on EU counterparts to help spread solidarity and social justice

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca launches 13th meeting of non-executive EU presidents amid hope for a serious discussion on social justice and cross-border in Mediterranean and EU

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca launches 13th Arraiolos meeting
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca launches 13th Arraiolos meeting

The presidents of European Union member states – even non-executive ones – needed to become more sensitive and aware of the particular nature of their respective situations, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said on Monday.

Coleiro Preca, who was speaking at the launch of the 13th meeting of non-executive EU presidents – Arraiolos Malta 2017 – said that each of the attending heads of state should be more resolved to play a part in spreading a strong message of solidarity and social justice across Europe.

The 2017 Arraiolos meeting will be held in Malta on 14 and 15 September and will be hosted by Coleiro Preca – the first President of Malta and the first female EU President to ever attend such meetings.

It will be the biggest meeting to date as 13 presidents representing Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, and Slovenia discuss the present and future of social Europe and the management of security challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean area.   

The theme for this year’s forum is ‘Crossing Borders’ and is aimed at creating a frank and profound discussion at a time when Europe, like the rest of the world, has become more polarised on social-class and ethnic lines. 

‘Crossing Borders’ is an invitation to the non-executive presidents of the European Union to reflect on how Europe can rediscover its core social values, reclaim its social model, and achieve higher levels of solidarity, fairness, and inclusion.

The presidents will explore how socially-responsible and ethically-driven governance at the community, local, regional, and transnational levels, can help disenfranchised, vulnerable European citizens cross social and economic borders, to a more inclusive Europe.

“During our deliberations, I am confident that social justice will feature prominently as a basic condition for Euro-Mediterranean security,” Coleiro Preca said.

She also expressed hope that the presidents would discuss cross-border mobility and challenges and opportunities “faced by a troubled Mediterranean region”.

Since the first meeting in 2003, other Arraiolos meetings were held in Helsinki (2005), Dresden (2006), Riga (2007), Graz (2008), Naples (2009), Budapest (2011), Helsinki (2012), Krakow (2013), Braga (2014), Wartburg and Erfurt (2015), and Plovdiv and Sofia (2016).

Arraiolos Malta 2017 will be held at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Verdala Palace and at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.

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