Le Président de la Commission des affaires sociales préside la réunion des Présidents des Commissions des affaires sociales

​On 24 March 2017 the Maltese House of Representatives hosted the third meeting of the parliamentary dimension of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, bringing together around 80 delegates from across Europe to discuss the issues of poverty and social exclusion.

In his opening address, the Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Hon. Anthony Agius Decelis, spoke about the importance of European states coming together to discuss issues relating to poverty and social exclusion. He argued that we cannot accept the fact that there are individuals who feel socially excluded, simply because of their race, gender or religion. Europe should be working towards being more and more inclusive, and minorities, including migrants, should not be forgotten. 

The Meeting of the Chairpersons of the Committees on Social Affairs dealt with the issues of poverty and social exclusion in light of the fact that the EU has established the year 2020 as the target by when 20 million people should be brought out of poverty and social exclusion. This pledge by EU leaders followed the alarming statistic showing that there were more than 120 million people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Europe. 

The participants evaluated what Europe has achieved, as well as where it is heading and how it plans to get there. The sessions covered included working towards a more inclusive Europe, what makes an individual socially excluded and a stock take of the policies of Europe 2020. The meeting kicked off with a video address by Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, who gave an overview of the current situation and urged Members present to work towards a more inclusive Europe.

During the sessions the Chairpersons and members of relevant committees had the opportunity to exchange best practices that have helped fight poverty and social exclusion in their respective countries. 

The Meeting was also attended by members of the Committee on Social Affairs of the Maltese House of Representatives, Hon. Godfrey Farrugia and Hon. Paula Mifsud Bonnici, who participated actively during the sessions.