Libertas, a new pan-European party just launched in Brussels, will be contesting the next MEP elections in all EU member states, including Malta, with the aim of opposing the Lisbon Treaty.

A party official said Libertas was seeking "high-calibre Maltese candidates" to contest next June's MEP elections and was trying to recruit supporters to run and organise its electoral campaign on the island.

The new party was launched by Declan Ganley, an Irish millionaire and the most well known of the Irish campaigners who foiled the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty last June.

The news emerged on the same day as EU leaders were gathered for a crucial summit to discuss among, other things, how an agreement with Ireland could be reached to resolve the present impasse.

Following the success Mr Ganley obtained through his anti-Lisbon campaign in Ireland, Libertas has decided to field candidates in next year's MEP elections with the express aim of opposing the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Ganley, who wants to turn the next elections into a Europe-wide referendum on the treaty, said the elections would give European citizens an opportunity to vote on the treaty, which had been denied to everyone except the Irish.

"This is the only chance for a referendum. You may never have that opportunity again," he said during a press conference at the group's new European headquarters in Brussels.

Distancing himself from Eurosceptics, Mr Ganley said the main reason behind his political group was to highlight the lack of democracy and accountability in the EU. He said the French, Dutch and Irish people's rejection of an EU Treaty had been ignored.

"It is unacceptable when people in majorities vote a certain way... Brussels criticises, attacks and undermines the reason they voted no. I want Europe to be successful, but I want it to be legitimate," he said.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us