The Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs (Malta) won the grant (DG Communications - GCI-C-2005/2008-MT-) for running the first Europe Direct Info Relay Centre – Malta & Gozo. The contract was signed on the 22nd April, 2005 and the Europe Direct drop-in centre in Hamrun, Malta was officially opened on the 7th September, 2005 by Mr Axel R. Bunz, interim head Representation Malta at the time.
The main objective of the Europe Direct Info Relay Centre was to give information on the European Institutions to its citizens; to provide a drop in centre and to give assistance by phone or via email. Europe Direct also gave out information leaflets and other publications by DG Press. The Info Relay Centre hosted events on EU policies, helped organisations and/or NGO’s with partner searches and requests and answered questions on the Union’s legislation, policies, programmes and funding opportunities.
Europe Direct also gave an opportunity to the citizens to provide feedback to the EU institutions and to allow the European Commission to improve the dissemination of accurate information tailored to local needs.
The Relay Centre was totally independent – not part of the Government, nor any political party, our allegiance was to the citizens of Malta. Europe Direct gave assistance to everyone, from school children to old people, from professionals to the unemployed. The service is offered completely free of charge and the Relay reports back regularly to the Directorate General for Communication (DG Press).
Europe Direct worked closely with the Representation of the European Commission in Malta, other EU info points and stakeholders. To obtain our aim to go down to the grass root level Europe Direct signed Cooperation Agreements with various Local Councils in Malta & Gozo whereby they agreed to help the Relay Centre with the distribution of EU related publications in their locality, by providing space on the Local Council Notice board to disseminate EU information regarding legislation, policies, programmes and funding opportunities and assist Europe Direct to get in contact with different Associations, NGO’s and other organisations in the locality.