‘Kafè Ewropa’ debates single market, Maltese in the EU

One Radio's weekly European election talk show returns tomorrow morning with a diverse and jam-packed agenda for its fourth episode.

One Radio’s European election talk show, Kafè Ewropa, will tomorrow (Friday) morning focus on two pertinent issues: the benefits and challenges of the European Single Market, and how EU membership has impacted the Maltese language over the last 20 years.

The live weekly programme is hosted by The Journal editor Sandro Mangion between 9am and 11am (simulcast on One TV from 10am onwards).

The European Single Market was designed to break down barriers within the EU, allowing for the free movement of goods, services, and people. This freedom creates a wider selection of products and services at competitive prices for European consumers. While the Single Market has been a boon for economic growth and consumer choice overall, it’s important to recognise the challenges it presents, such as unequal benefits for member states. This topic will be discussed in studio by MEP Alex Agius Saliba, Vice President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, and economist Frans Camilleri.

Next up, a panel discussion will explore the development of Maltese since it became an official EU language in 2003. Maltese citizens have full language access within the EU, which means official documents are available in Maltese, and they can communicate with EU institutions in Maltese and expect a reply in the same language. Norma Saliba, leading the Centre for the Maltese Language, and David Schembri, a linguistic officer at the European Commission’s office in Malta, will touch upon several key issues including the impact – or lack thereof – that being an official EU language has had on Maltese, how the status ensures equal access to information and participation for Maltese citizens, and the career opportunities available for Maltese speakers working in the EU. There are around 300 Maltese-language staff in the EU institutions’ language services, including translators, terminologists, interpreters, and language assistants. To shed light on this, Dr Helga Zahra, Head of the Maltese Language Department at the European Commission, will join the discussion via phone from Luxembourg.

In keeping with the programme’s tradition, a Maltese ambassador currently stationed in an EU member state will discuss the influence of both countries’ EU membership on their bilateral relations. This week, the guest will be H.E. Daniel Azzopardi, Malta’s Ambassador to Spain, who will join via a link from Madrid. Spain being an EU member state with two Maltese diplomatic missions, Kafè Ewropa will also get in touch with H.E. John Paul Grech, Malta’s Special Envoy to the Barcelona-based Union for the Mediterranean, who serves as the organisation’s Deputy Secretary General in charge of Social and Civil Affairs. He will explain Malta’s role within the intergovernmental organisation that brings together 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean basin to promote dialogue and cooperation.

Another phone conversation will be with Franklin Mamo, an EU official based in Brussels who founded and served as President of the Association for the Maltese in Belgium, most of whom work within the EU institutions.

Jesmond Marshall, candidate for the European elections, will talk about the key issues that have consistently come up in his conversations with the electorate during the current election campaign.

Have you missed last week’s programme? Listen to it here.

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