Photo: Ruben Overend

Photo: Ruben Overend

The very well attended AGM 2014 of the Malta Co-operative Federation held on the 18th November 2014 was addressed by Ms Frances Mifsud, the Chairperson of the Co-operatives Board.  Accompanied by two other Co-operatives Board Members, Mr Joseph Abela and Mr Angelo Azzopardi, Ms Mifsud outlined the new funding opportunities that shall now be available to the Malta Co-operative Federation.

It was announced that these imminent funding regulations were expected to come into force  early in 2015 and this once Minister Christian Cardona tables in Parliament the awaited changes to the Central Co-operative Fund Regulations.  The Federation has been considering the lack of funding devolution towards the Federation as an act of deliberate discrimination against the Federation and against the Federation’s Members.  It is estimated that the Federation’s Member Societies who represent around 14% of the total co-operative societies in Malta contribute towards this Fund an estimated 40% per annum of the total co-operative societies’ contributions.

Ms Mifsud indicated that it was government’s wish to eliminate all perceived conflicts of interest that the Members on the Central Co-operative Fund nominated by the co-operative movement might have had.  With the new regulations the Central Co-operative Fund Committee (CCFC) would be disbanded and a Central Co-operative Fund Board (CCFB) would take its place.  This new CCFB would have very similar functions to the CCFC.   The announced major changes were those to the composition on the CCFB. Four independent and objective individuals appointed by the Minister would join the Chairperson of the Co-operatives Board on the CCFB.

All registered organisations that reached an established criteria, based on the number of affiliated primary co-operative societies or on the annual contribution to the Fund would be eligible to one seat on the CCFB.  This means that the Malta Co-operative Federation will now in a position to obtain observer status on the CCFB and could therefore influence the CCFB decisions through its representative.  This information was very well received by the Council Members of the Federation and the representatives of the Federation’s Member Societies present.

Without revealing much of the fine details of the funding mechanisms, Ms Mifsud explained that the Malta Co-operative Federation would now be in a position to apply for project-based funding from the Central Co-operative Fund.

The Council thanked the Chairperson for her work and that of the Co-operatives Board to unblock the present highly discriminatory situation that was impeding the Malta Co-operative Federation to participate on the CCFC and participate in its funding opportunities.

The Federation’s Council is currently assisting actively a number of potential co-operative societies and co-operative researchers who also gave their contributions during the Annual General Meeting.

The Council elections were held following the addresses of the CEO & Secretary General Mr Rolan Micallef Attard, the President Mr John Mallia and the Treasurer Mr Paul Muscat.  The newly elected Council for the period 2014/2015 are:  Capt Paul Chetcuti, Mr John Mallia, Mr Rolan Micallef Attard and Mr Paul Muscat.

Rolan Micallef Attard
Malta Co-operative Federation
Secretary General