On Sunday Malta took over the six-month rotating presidency over the European Union from Slovakia that chaired the presidency in the second half of 2016.
Presiding over the European Union in the first half of 2017, Malta will try to restore citizens’ trust in the EU, focusing on key issues such as migration, security and strengthening the single market.
This is the first time that Malta, a small Mediterranean country which entered the EU bloc in 2014, will preside over the EU and do so at an important moment, with integration facing big challenges.
During the next six months, the presidency will focus on six key areas: migration, single market, security, social inclusion, Europe’s neighbourhood and maritime sector.
Estonia will assume the presidency over the EU in the second half of 2017.
As of 1 January 2017, the Danish city of Aarhus and the Cypriot town of Pafos (Pahos) will hold the title of European Capital of Culture, while in 2016 this title was held by Wroclaw, Poland, and San Sebastian, Spain.
In 2020, Rijeka will be the first Croatian city to become an European Capital of Culture, and that year. Galway, Ireland, will be the other city with that title in the EU