I want to register my major reservations on my vote in favour of this motion. Contrary to what is being stated, in the operation of aid funds set under the annual budget, the EU is implementing a one-size-fits-all approach – the same measure is being applied to all.

I refer to two examples from Malta’s experience, the smallest Member State, and an island.

After Malta, other countries joined the EU. This had the statistical effect of lowering the EU’s average GDP per capita and with that Malta lost its right to certain structural funds. To make-up for this new reality, the Maltese Government negotiated and obtained additional financing under the current budgetary perspective. However, the expectation is that EU State aid rules will prevent SMEs from benefiting from these funds.

Allowing for common sense to prevail, the same rules would not apply to these funds.

Secondly, we have the case of Gozo, an island smaller than Malta, with its own special features and identity. Due to its dual insularity, Gozo lags behind. In order to develop, the island needs regional management.

In an absurd comparison to Scandinavian islands, the Commission decided against Gozo being considered an island with such needs.

In the execution of the EU budget and the use of EU funds, a basic principle of what shapes Europe is being forgotten – namely, the principle of a Europe of nations. Therefore my vote is conditioned by the strongest reservations.

Maltese Version
Spjegazzjoni tal-vot minn Alfred Sant – Baġit ġenerali tal-Unjoni Ewropea għas-sena finanzjarja 2015 – it-taqsimiet kollha 22.10.2014

Nixtieq nirreġistra li l-vot tiegħi favur il-mozzjoni qed isir b’rizervi kbar. Fit-tħaddim tal-fondi ssettjati taħt il-baġit annwali, bil-maqlub ta’ dak li jingħad, l-Unjoni qiegħda timplimenta proċeduri ta’ one size fits all – l-istess kejl qed jiġi applikat għal kulħadd.

Insemmi zewġ ezempji mill-esperjenza ta’ Malta, l-iċken membru tal-Unjoni, kollu kemm hu gzira.

Wara Malta, daħlu pajjizi oħra bħala membri. Dan kellu l-effett statistiku li baxxa l-medja fl-Unjoni tal-prodott gross domestiku ras imb’ras. B’hekk Malta tilfet l-aċċess għal ċerti fondi strutturali. Minflok, il-gvern innegozja u kiseb finanzi addizzjonali taħt il-perspettiva baġetarja attwali. Madankollu l-istennija hi li azjendi privati ta’ daqs zgħir u medju mhux se jibbenefikaw minn dawn il-fondi minħabba r-regoli tal-Unjoni dwar għajnuniet tal-istat.

Is-sens komun jgħidlek li l-istess regoli m’għandhomx jiġu applikati għal dawn il-fondi.

It-tieni, għandna l-kaz ta’ Għawdex, gzira iċken minn Malta bl-identità u l-karatteristiċi speċjali tagħha. Waqgħet lura minħabba insularità doppja. Teħtieġ tmexxija reġjonali biex tizviluppa.

F’paragun assurd, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea ddeċidiet kontra li Għawdex jitqies b’dan il-mod billi qabblitha ma’ gzejjer Skandinavi.

Fit-twettiq tal-baġit Ewropew u fl-uzu tal-fondi qed jintesa prinċipju essenzjali ta’ x’jagħmel l-Ewropa dak li hi — jiġifieri, Ewropa tan-nazzjonijiet. Għalhekk il-vot tiegħi hu kondizzjonat bl-akbar rizervi.