Economy Minister Silvio Schembri has welcomed the agreement among the EU27 on new rules that will make it cheaper, quicker and more predictable to protect industrial designs across the union.

The agreement will strengthen design protection, simplify it, harmonise it and ultimately make it more accessible and affordable, through a reduction in registration fees and administrative burdens. This will aid business and cultural sectors, which are predominantly dominated by micro, small and medium enterprises.

On Monday (today), the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, under the Spanish Presidency, discussed also new proposed Euro 7 standards for vehicles and held general discussions on the competitiveness and future of the Single Market and touched base on the industrial and competitiveness perspective on the EU pharmaceutical legislation. The Council also discussed the challenges of connectivity and the responsible development of AI among others.

In attendance, Schembri referred to the connectivity challenge that Malta, as the smallest Member State and on the periphery of Europe, constantly faces, “which renders operations to Malta uncompetitive.”

“Any upcoming legislation should bring down the barriers impeding the smooth functioning of the Single Market, remove the fragmentation between Member States and incentivise operations towards all corners of the EU, in order to ensure that all parts of Europe continue to contribute to growth,” Mr Schembri said, in his intervention.

Minister Schembri also highlighted the need for Member States to embrace current digital transformation, “which has enormous potential to improve the lives and wellbeing of our citizens and businesses.”

He also called for better addressing of the skills shortages and workforce, which “has hindered innovation and competitiveness. Malta believes that further focus must be centred on the investment in education and training programs that align necessary skills for the digital and green transitions.”

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