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President Higgins to attend meeting of European Presidents in Malta

Date: Wed 5th Oct, 2022 | 12:39

  • Annual meeting of the Arraiolos Group brings together 15 non-executive Presidents from across the European Union
  • President Higgins to emphasise the need to address the structural factors that are causing global food insecurity

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina, has travelled to Malta to participate in the annual meeting of the Arraiolos Group of 15 non-executive European Presidents.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome and the meeting, hosted by the President of Malta George Vella, will focus on a stock-taking of the working of the EU institutions in the context of the anniversary, the future of the European Union and current and global challenges.

Ahead of two sessions tomorrow, President Higgins will today (Wednesday) attend a working dinner and over the two days engage in a number of bilateral meetings with fellow Heads of State.

Thursday’s morning session is expected to focus on the global role and international relevance of the European Union, including challenges in relation to security, climate change, migration and energy and the way in which the underlying principle of solidarity is applied.

The afternoon session is expected to consider the ways in which the EU can respond to global social injustices and propose new policies, including addressing issues as to how it could do more to reduce global disparities on access to health such as vaccines and other medicines, education, employment and mobility. The discussion will also include consideration of how challenges, such as are exemplified by famine in the Horn of Africa, can be addressed through multilateral action.

President Higgins will be emphasising the need to address the structural factors that are causing food insecurity, including issues of monopoly in production and distribution, debt, and conflict sourced in climate change.

The President will further reflect on the challenges currently facing multilateralism in an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe next week. His address, entitled “Reasserting the Moral Weight of the Council of Europe”, will take place in Strasbourg on Tuesday, 11th October.