– ST JULIAN’S – WEDNESDAY, 27TH JUNE 2007
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to open this important conference, particularly considering the timely manner at which this conference is being organised. As new Member States we have now accumulated a few years of experience in Structural Fund Implementation. Much of the funding under the 2004-2006 Programmes has already been committed and attention is switched to making selective use of the remaining funding as well as ensuring that commitments are translated into spending within the required time-scale.
With regard to the 2007-2013 Programmes, most of us are in the process of awaiting the green light for the new Programmes and setting up new, or perhaps revising current implementation systems. I am pleased to inform you that Malta’s Operational Programmes have both been agreed upon and signed by the European Commission this week and we will now be embarking seriously with the Programmes’ implementation and focusing our resources on the project selection process.
Whatever the scale of resources and state of play of the programming process, common fundamental strategic and operational issues are facing us all in the design and implementation of the Programmes. It is therefore an opportune moment to take stock of progress to date and to look forward at how future challenges will be addressed.
In this regard Malta has chosen to focus on the implementation systems as the primary theme for this meeting. We are very much aware that implementation systems can make or break the success of Structural Fund implementation. Getting it right first time is critical because second chances often come at a high cost.