Joseph Muscat’s new political approach has truly placed Malta among the best within European circles. Such an immense change has instilled in me a totally different perspective in the way I look at European institutions. Today, more than ever, everyone is aware of Malta’s drive and other states within the group do stop to consider Malta’s position.

Gone are the days when we used to consider the Maltese Parliament on one side and the European Parliament on the other, both acting independent of the other. It is time for the two political spectrums to come closer together so that the people feel the effort placed at both levels.

This is what I aim for if I win your trust and be elected to the European Parliament – to act as your voice.

EU regulations and directives have become the norm of the day and this itself is an indication that things have changed and that we need to be represented since it is a known secret that a lot of these directives and regulations are not reaching all platforms of society with the consequence that such ignorance can lead to certain unwarranted serious repercussions.

It is for this reason that I aspire to be your voice, and this by pushing for a more sustainable society.

The concept of sustainability has a dominant place within European circles. We can never have a strong Europe unless it is a sustainable one. It is a must that we are sustainable and for us to be so we have to prove ourselves to our European counterparts and bring to their attention what we stand for and vice versa, we are to be made aware of what the Europeans expect from us.

It is here that I aspire to place my energy if I am given your trust to act as your voice in Europe. 

Whether  agriculture, fishing, a herds man, manufacturer or within such similar trades, I want to act as your voice in Europe so that you will continue to move forward and vice versa to bring to the attention of all that which Europe is handing out and furthermore that which will be put forward in the future.  The concept of sustainability goes hand in hand with the other concept of communication.

A negative aspect of the European Union which we Maltese and Gozitans disagree with, is the Union’s way of applying rules and regulations in a way that one- size-fits-all without considering the limitations of our nation.

This is a situation which has been experienced in various sectors namely, but not restricted to, the fishing sector, in the area where traditional past-times are concerned and taxation. 

The present government, led by Joseph Muscat, is already addressing this issue, as is evidenced by Malta’s stand in relation to migrants that ended up on Malta’s lap when, at the end of the day, Malta had nothing to do with the whole matter and also where hunting and trapping locally are concerned.

I aspire to be that voice which will bring about a difference in your daily life, better communicating with our European counterparts a better understanding of that which really make us Maltese and Gozitans. 

In itself, this involves a better application of the concept of solidarity between member states when it comes to understanding our traditions and usages.

I endorse proposals which directly address that which by right belong to us all, such as with the concept of inter-connectivity

Having said that, I do not intend an open cheque whereby we promulgate self-centred national laws, but that we continue to enjoy, always within the framework of set rules and regulations, that which make us Maltese and Gozitans. I want to be the force that takes to Europe that which we have achieved in favour of our society, with particular emphasis being laid on the concept of equality and integration among the sexes.

I aspire to be able to bring parties close together irrespective of what might keep them apart. I humbly believe that a truly equitable and just formula is always within arm’s reach for an acceptable solution concerning hot issues such as those concerning the environment, development and local pastimes. 

If one had to delve into the differences that separate environmentalists from trappers and hunters, one immediately realises that both sides have a common enemy, which they should face together in order to preserve their interests and the natural habitat that is of equal importance for their cause. 

I aspire to be your voice and put forward equitable and just proposals towards a mutually acceptable solution. 

I aspire to bring to the European Parliament’s attention a united voice stressing the concept that preservation should go beyond Europe’s parameters so that we truly address those instances which are destroying the environment such as pesticides, afforestation and the indiscriminate killing of birds and other animals.

I also aspire to be your voice within the European Parliament, and here I am referring to migration immaterially from where it originates, in that all migrants ought to be taught our spoken language and given a deep insight into our traditions. 

The European Parliament should ascertain that enough funds are dedicated to address this aim if we truly want to live in an equitable and free society.  

Even more so, I want to bring to the attention of European institutions the rather inequitable situation when it comes for us, Maltese, Gozitans and foreigners who opt to establish residence in Malta, when it comes for us to exercise our fundamental right, which appertains to all Europeans, that is, our right to travel freely from one member state to the other.

While reckoning the fact that the EU has invested heftily in the construction of a system of roads that unite all European states through funds such as the TEN T and ERDF funds, the aim misses its target when it comes to Malta since any road will only lead to the sea. 

Hence, it is neither fair nor equitable when you consider the fact that our European counterparts enjoy the right to travel cheaply and freely from one neighbour state to the other and for us being Maltese, Gozitans or foreigners who opted to establish residence on the archipelago, in order to exercise such right and travel from one member state to another on the continent, one has to undertake a cost that puts him at par to a tourist coming from a third-party state when leaving the islands. 

Such a situation is of prejudice for us all and if, given your trust, I will act as your voice in Europe and push for a solution so that we truly start benefitting from that which belongs to us as EU members. The concept of inter-connectivity applies equally to all four corners of the EU.

With this in mind, I aim at submitting a campaign that rests on, apart from the basic principles of consistency and credibility for which I am very well known, the other basic principles of sustainability: freedom and equity. I endorse proposals that not only address education, youth, the family, transparency and voluntary organisations that are the fibre of society, but which directly address that which by right belong to us all such as with the concept of inter-connectivity and the problem which we will be facing on a world scale concerning the scarcity of water and food. 

Issues that are bound to bring to the forefront the concept of sustainability as a whole. It is here where I aspire to be your voice in Europe, and that is why the European Parliament.

Joseph Sammut is a Labour MEP election candidate.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece


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