Bringing the EU closer to citizens is a major challenge. Therefore, Group III met in St. Julian's under the auspices of the Maltese Presidency of the EU on 23 March to discuss the role and capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to voice citizens' concerns and ensure that they are better supported by public authorities.
In the morning, the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary Ian Borg welcomed the EESC members and representatives of Maltese civil society organisations, who gathered together to take stock of Malta's major achievements during its membership of the European Union and paved the way for the challenges ahead. Representatives from different sectors of civil society (environment, gender balance, disability, youth), the media, and government authorities debated the impact of EU membership on the economy and the recognition of the role of CSOs in public debate.
The afternoon session focused on the provision of services and goods to citizens, namely the aptitude of SMEs and professionals to provide high-quality services to their clients, patients and customers. Representatives of liberal professions and SME organisations debated with consumer representatives and government authorities, amongst others, on ethical and safety requirements and the latest developments at European level in this field.
The Westin Dragonara