Valletta (Malta), September 17: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday endorsed Malta’s recovery and resilience plan, which will see the European Union (EU) disbursing 316.4 million euros (372 million U.S. dollars) in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
She held talks with Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela about the country’s plans to tap into EU funds as part of its COVID-19 recovery package.
At a press conference, von der Leyen praised the Maltese government’s plan to use a large chunk of the recovery funds to finance green initiatives in line with the EU’s digital strategy. She said that Malta’s plan was among the greenest in the bloc.
Von der Leyen also welcomed plans to further strengthen the independence and efficiency of Malta’s justice and prosecution systems and to combat money laundering.
Abela spoke about plans to make Malta carbon neutral by 2050 and the planned shift to clean public transport with electric vehicles.
He said the EU funds will be used to bolster Malta’s medium-term vision for an improvement in quality of life and turn the nation’s infrastructure from a bottleneck to an enabler.
Abela also said that the EU funds will also be used to ensure that the country’s education system becomes one of the best in Europe and transform governance structures so that they adequately reflect the needs and aspirations of a modern society.
The construction of a pilot near-carbon neutral school is one of the investments planned.