The President of Malta George Vella and the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola described President Vella’s visit to the European Parliament in Brussels as historic because the Head of State and the President of the European Parliament are both Maltese. In this regard, they both expressed their satisfaction that the talks could be held in Maltese.
The two Presidents exchanged views on the role of the European Union in regional and international challenges including the war in Ukraine and irregular immigration. They discussed in detail the latest developments in the Middle East. In this context, President Vella expressed his serious concern as this situation is having very severe consequences on civilian lives and warned against the possible havoc created by this conflict in the entire region.
During this meeting, the European Union’s internal challenges such as the enlargement of the European Union, the Conference on the Future of Europe, and the talks on the institutional reforms which also include reviews of the treaties were also discussed.
In his comments after the meeting, President George Vella thanked President Metsola and her staff for their work to make this meeting possible. For her part, the President of the European Parliament expressed her pleasure to welcome the President and Mrs Vella to the European Parliament. She added that together with President Vella they talked about Malta’s position and contribution around the table of discussions and decisions of the European Parliament.
Accompanied by President Metsola, the President and Mrs Vella met the Maltese artist Ruth Bianco who explained her work ‘Lines of Migration’ currently being exhibited in the European Parliament.
They also met Fr Marcellino Micallef, founder of the Soup Kitchen OFM Valletta which is Malta’s winner of this year’s European Citizen’s Prize.
Earlier in the afternoon, President Vella had an audience with King Philippe of Belgium at the Castle of Laeken. They primarily spoke about the progress and potential of bilateral relations between the two countries especially in the commercial, investment, tourism, and cultural sectors. Other themes that were discussed include the instability in the Mediterranean and the consequences of the war in Ukraine and COVID on the international community. King Philippe showed particular interest in the unique cultural heritage of Malta, notably the tapestries of St John’s Co-Cathedral which have recently undergone extensive restoration work in Belgium.
This evening, the President and Mrs Vella will meet the Maltese living in Belgium and Luxembourg at Dar Malta.