PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS AND EQUALITY: Minister Helena Dalli addresses Independence Day commemoration at Dar Malta

Reference Number: PR172184, Press Release Issue Date: Sep 26, 2017
“Independence can be experienced at various levels, from the national to the individual. During the past five years, the government has worked to introduce the necessary reforms that give people more independence in their daily lives.”  Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Helena Dalli stated this when celebrating Independence Day at Malta’s representation in Brussels. Also present at the event were Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue, Aaron Farrugia, Ambassador to Belgium, Ray Azzopardi, Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU, Marlene Bonnici, together with diplomats and employees. 
Dr Dalli stated that during the past 53 years, Malta has made great leaps forward. From a small island colony;
-                    We have built a republic based on work, compassion and solidarity where each citizen enjoys social protections from beginning to end;
-                    A strong inclusive society for all;
-                    We have a thriving economy that is welcoming workers from Europe and beyond;
-                    As members of the EU, we have recently concluded what is considered as one of the most successful presidencies of the Council of the EU, where in line with our raison d’etre as a Government, we focused on what mattered most in the day-to-day lives of EU Citizens.
During the event, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that Malta and Europe must build an economy, society, and environment that is sustainable and can meet needs of future generations. “This is important because our generation needs to take responsibility for the choices we make now: and that starts with changing the way that we work to find the right sustainable solutions for Malta”.
Ambassador to Belgium Ray Azzopardi, who hosted the event, said that independence is not merely a concept of statehood but should be a concept which revolves around helping individuals become independent and advance to a better life. He described what Malta achieved in just four years as “giving a passport to its people to be independent”.
Ambassador Bonnici spoke of how Malta rose to the occasion during the Presidency and that this was the sign of a self-confident independent nation.
Minister Helena Dalli met with all the employees at Dar Malta in Brussels thanked them for their work, particularly which was carried out during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU.