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PROACT MALTA

EU PROGRESS REPORT FOR MALTA
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Comprehensive monitoring report on Malta's preparations for membership

[Extract for the 'Proact Malta' Campaign]

 

[Source: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/report_2003/pdf/cmr_mt_final.pdf ]

A. Introduction

 

Following ratification of the Treaty of Accession, Malta will join the EU on 1 May 2004. In its Strategy Paper the Commission stated that:

 

"Acceding countries need to implement the acquis by the date of accession, except in cases where transitional arrangements have been agreed. Commitments undertaken in the negotiations must be fully met before accession. The Regular Reports point to a number of areas where further improvements need to be made in the context of the political and economic criteria and in relationship to the adoption, implementation and enforcement of the acquis. These should be vigorously pursued" .... the Thessaloniki European Council in June 2003 stated that ".... the ten acceding States are encouraged to keep up their efforts so that they are fully prepared to assume the obligations of membership by accession. This also includes the necessary translation of the Community acquis. With a view to making a success of enlargement, the monitoring of these preparations has been intensified on the basis of reports submitted regularly by the Commission."

 

As the accession date of 1 May 2004 draws closer, this report presents a comprehensive state of play of the findings of the regular monitoring carried out by the Commission .... For each chapter of the acquis, this report identifies the areas in which Malta is expected to be, or is already, in a position to implement the acquis and the areas where further action is still needed. Where relevant, the report also points out issues where lagging or deficient preparations are a cause of serious concern. This assessment starts from the premise that Malta must be fully prepared for membership from the date of accession. In cases where transitional arrangements have been agreed in the accession negotiations, their effect on Malta's obligations is duly reflected in the assessment. Numerous sources of information have been used to compile this report. Malta was invited to provide information on its state of preparedness. Where relevant, the Commission has also drawn on assessments made by various international organisations .... and by non-governmental organisations.

 

Chapter 22:

Environment Community environment policy aims to promote sustainable development and protect the environment for present and future generations, and is based on the integration of environmental protection into other Community policies, preventive action, the polluter pays principle, fighting environmental damage at source, and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises over 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, nature protection, industrial pollution and risk management, noise, and radiation protection. Ensuring compliance with the acquis requires significant investments, but also brings significant benefits for public health and reduces costly damage to forests, buildings, landscapes and fisheries. A strong and well-equipped administration at national, regional and local level is imperative for the application and enforcement of the environment acquis. Horizontal legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for the recent acquis on strategic environmental impact assessment, which needs to be transposed and implemented by July 2004 in line with the Directive. Administrative capacities in the area are in place, but further work is however needed within the Malta Environment and Planning Authority to ensure a proper implementation of the acquis.

 

In the field of nature protection, legislation is in place. Enhanced efforts are however required to prepare a list of proposed sites of Community interest and to designate special protection areas by accession, including the completion of the consultation process. Malta needs to ensure that relevant protection measures are applied by accession. The administrative capacities required are largely in place, but considerable efforts are needed to ensure better enforcement of the legislation on birds. Producing an enforcement strategy should be a priority of the national Ornis Committee. Also, the Ornis Committee needs to finalise the collection of data, which will allow for scientifically defined hunting seasons. As regards the protection of wild birds, a transitional arrangement, with intermediate targets, has been agreed. Until 2008 Malta will be allowed to use clap-nets to capture seven finch species in order to establish a captive breeding system.

 

Conclusion

 

Malta is partially meeting the commitments and requirements in the areas of waste management and nature protection .... On nature protection, enhanced efforts are required to prepare the lists of proposed nature protection sites and special bird protection areas, including the completion of the consultation process. Considerable efforts are also needed to ensure better enforcement of Malta's commitments regarding the birds Directive. Producing an enforcement strategy should be a priority of the national Ornis Committee.

 

As regards the implementation of the acquis in specific policy areas, the findings of this report are set out below. Firstly, it should be noted that Malta has reached a high level of alignment with the acquis in most policy areas. It is expected to be in a position to implement the acquis as required in the following areas by accession: ....

 

 Secondly, in certain areas Malta partially meets the commitments and requirements and needs to make enhanced efforts in order to complete its preparations for accession. This includes <> legislative alignment and implementation in    nature protection as concerns environment policy....

 
 
[Proact has highlighted certain important statements in bold text]

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