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Commission Opinion [COM(1999) 69 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 508 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 708 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1751 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1407 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1206 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]
The 1999 Opinion emphasised the protectionist nature of Malta's economy, the difficulty of assessing Maltese industry's ability to withstand competitive pressure within the European Union (EU) and the clear need to restructure local industry before accession.
The 1999 Report concluded that Malta had to restructure its industry and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.
In its November 2000 Report, the Commission stated that Malta had made good progress in defining an industrial strategy, and that the Government had taken steps to improve the business environment.
The November 2001 Report commented that Malta was continuing to make good progress towards establishing an industrial policy and promoting investment. Privatisation and restructuring were making less headway. As regards SMEs, progress had been made in the area of enterprise policy and in adopting measures aimed at helping their development.
The October 2002 Report took stock of the progress made by Malta in the field of industrial policy and SME policy, particularly with regard to improving the business environment.
The November 2003 Report recognises that Malta meets the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in the field of industrial policy and SME policy.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.
The aim of Community industrial policy is to increase competition so as to raise living standards and boost employment. It is intended to encourage the creation of an environment conducive to initiative, the development of business within the European Community, industrial cooperation and to improve the exploitation of the industrial potential of innovation, research and technological development policies. The European Community's industrial policy brings together instruments drawn from several different Community policies: some of these concern the functioning of the market (product specifications and market access, commercial policy, State aid and competition policy), while others concern the ability of businesses to adapt to change (stable macroeconomic environment, technology, training etc.).
Industry in the candidate countries will have to have attained a certain level of competitiveness at the time of accession in order to be able to cope with the competitive pressures and market forces within the European Union. The candidate countries will have to show that they are following a policy aimed at creating open, competitive markets in accordance with the provisions of Article 157 (ex-Article 130) of the Treaty on European Union.
Malta is continuing to develop its industrial policy. The business community is more involved in the policy-making process. No progress has been made as regards investment promotion. The privatisation process has made little headway. Malta needs to speed up privatisation and restructuring. The administrative capacity of the privatisation unit within the Ministry of Economic Services needs to be strengthened.
Malta has made progress in developing and implementing an industrial policy since the 1997 opinion. This chapter has been provisionally closed, no transitional arrangements have been requested and Malta has met its commitments (see the 2002 Report). Prior to accession, Malta needs to finalise its industrial strategy, privatisation programme and restructuring of the shipbuilding sector.
As regards SME policy, a Business Incubation Centre programme has been launched. Malta signed up to the European Charter for Small Enterprises in April 2002.
Business support services have been rationalised to improve the business environment. The definition of SMEs does not yet totally conform to the Community acquis.
Malta has managed to adapt its industrial policy since the 1997 opinion. This chapter has been provisionally closed, no transitional arrangements have been requested and Malta has met its commitments (see the 2002 Report). Prior to accession, Malta will have to help its SMEs restructure and further simplify the business environment.
This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.