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The 25th annual European Social Services Conference held in Valletta on 26-28th June was a truly significant event.

With the cancellation of the UK Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Maltese took their place on behalf of the European Union and in so doing sent a positive message from a small country to the rest of Europe about the importance of social inclusion alongside economic reform.

The Maltese support for ESN was at the highest level with the engagement of the President and participation of the Prime Minister and other ministers during the conference. In discussions with CEO John Halloran, Policy Director Alfonso Montero and Conference Director David Scurr at her residence President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca expressed strong interest in child poverty and migration, amongst other social issues and wished to be involved in ESN’s work in the future. In similar vein, the Prime Minister, Josef Muscat, who gave the official welcome to delegates, spoke of the key dynamic of economic and social investment and of the importance of knowledge exchange to improve the quality of social services.

Participation by over 530 delegates from all levels of government and the private sector in 36 countries in Europe and beyond, backed up by an engaged EU Presidency, can ensure that we are inspired to see the opportunities for delivering even better local public services and that has to be worthwhile.

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