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Cooperazione Politica

 

Cooperazione Politica

 

Political Cooperation

The friendship between Italy and Malta is based on age-old historical, cultural, economic and human roots, but assumed particular political value at the time of Malta’s Independence, which was hailed with special warmth by the Italian Government and Italian public opinion. The Prime Minister of Italy at that time, the Hon. Aldo Moro, was the first foreign Prime Minister to welcome the Maltese proclamation of Independence.  

The continuum of commercial, social, cultural and artistic contacts gave birth to an authentic bond of solidarity that grew from strength to strength. Enhanced since Malta’s Independence in 1964, this bond of solidarity has found itself reflected in the relations between the two states and has grown into a consolidated network of bilateral, regional and multilateral political co-operation. Moreover, Italy and Malta have a Euro-Mediterranean vocation in common, which stands for countless chances of collaboration.
Along the years there have been several official meetings of government representatives both in Italy and Malta. All meetings and discussions have always taken place in a friendly atmosphere and they were all oriented to achieve concrete results.  

As far as illegal immigration in the Mediterranean is concerned, Italy and Malta share the opinion that it is an issue of common concern that has to be addressed at EU level, with a global approach and in cooperation with the countries of origin, transit and destination of the migrants.  

Focus: The Bilateral Financial Protocols

The five successive Financial Protocols signed between Italy and Malta since 1979, testify and give tangible expression to this co-operation. The protocols provided for the framework of Italian assistance in undertaking a number of projects and programmes crucial to Malta’s development as well as for the phase leading to membership of the European Union.

Italian funds have complemented the Malta Government’s financial outlays for essential priority projects and programmes in transforming Malta’s economy.   

Protocol-funded programmes range from technical assistance to higher education, from the development of the Islands’ infrastructure to the conservation of the national heritage and the environment (the priority areas jointly identified have been: culture and education, civil protection, infrastructure and energy, industry, tourism and agriculture, social and environmental Issues). Together they reflect the determining and enabling of Italian solidarity in Malta’s quest to face the challenges of change.  

Whereas they provide a framework for practical and tangible forms of co-operation between Malta and Italy, the Protocols have to be viewed within the context of that much wider spectrum of important agreements concerning bilateral and Mediterranean issues. Among these is that of 1980 guaranteeing Malta’s neutrality.   

Chronicle of the Five Protocols:

The First Italo-Maltese Financial Protocol (covering the period 1979-1983)
Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Malta as part of the Islands’ economic restructuring, it provided for Lm 33 million in development aid over a five year period, consisting of a Lm 28 million grant and Lm 5 million in loans.  

The Second Italo-Maltese Protocol (1987-1990)
It amounted to Lm 47.5 million spread over a four-year period made up of Lm 37.5 million in grants and Lm 10 in loans.  

The Third Italo-Maltese Financial Protocol (1990-1994)
Funds totaling Lm 66 million were made available over a five years period, of which Lm 53 million in the form of grants and Lm 13 million in the form of loans. Furthermore, Italy also donated three patrol boats and two helicopters to aid Malta combat drug trafficking.    

The Fourth Italo-Maltese Financial Protocol (1995-2000)
It provided for Lm 60 million in grants over a six-year period toward project and commodity Aid.  

The Fifth Italo-Maltese Financial Protocol (2003-2007)
The fifth Protocol was signed in Rome on the 20th December 2002 and came into effect in January 2004. This last Protocol consists of a total disbursement of 75 million Euros to be used on 13 different projects intended to upgrade a range of sectors to European standard requirements (road construction, food safety, water treatment, sea patrolling, cultural heritage restoration).


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