The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

In the European Parliament to lead

Lino Bianco Sunday, 6 October 2013, 08:38 Last update: about 5 years ago

This coming May is the third time that Malta will elect its representatives to the European Parliament. By then, our nation will have had its representatives in the EU institution for a decade. The Parliament elects the President of the Commission and approves its political agenda.

The European Parliament, the Chamber that is directly elected by EU citizens from all member states, is the only way to legitimise and control EU decision-making. The EP Vice-President responsible for communication for the S&D and EL, Anni Podimata, notes: “There is a perception that EU political decision-taking in the current economic crisis has lacked proper legitimacy. People, EU voters, have the exclusive possibility to determine the political majorities of the Parliament, which will set the course for forging legislation, challenging bad policies and leading the debate in the five years following the elections.”

The information campaign for the 2014 elections, launched by the European Parliament few weeks ago, has as its baseline logo: ACT.REACT.IMPACT. It reinforces the fact that the EU electorate can decide the future of Europe. The electorate can influence the decisions taken by Brussels (or Strasbourg) depending on the members of the EP it elects. The campaign is planned in four stages: the presentation of the logo, highlights of five key topics (namely the economy, jobs, quality of life, money and the EU in the world), the election campaign proper and the formation of the newly-elected European Parliament.

 

A candidate for the EP elections

Being one of the seven candidates, who has been presented by the Labour Party for the upcoming European Parliament elections, is a position of trust the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the PL executive have delegated. This position I had accepted after some thought, reflections and considerations. Being a former MEP, the Prime Minister is very knowledgeable of what the post entails. While thanking the Prime Minister for his trust, I believe and concur with his vision for the country and the role of our country in the EU. If I am granted the privilege to represent our country at EP level, I believe that my professional expertise and experience are assets to represent the Maltese citizen at this institution.

My work record is a guarantee to the electorate that the interests of the citizen come first. Case studies which prove this point are numerous: chairing the Planning Council responsible for the drafting of the socio-economic development of the south of Malta and challenging public and private development projects on behalf of local governments. In the case of the former one can mention the projects of WasteServ Malta Ltd, namely, Sant’ Antnin Plant, the waste transfer station at Tal-Kus and the landfilling of disused quarries near Hagar Qim and Mnajdra area. Some notable developments undertaken by the private sector which were challenged are Multigas (Kirkop), Ta` Cenc (Sannat), the developments of villas at Ramla l-Hamra (Xaghra) and Hondoq (Qala).

 

In the EP to lead

I may seem a new face in politics, but I have been involved for over a decade and a half. Yes, over this period, I had been approached a number of times to consider being involved in the political arena. Given my expertise and experience, being a MEP is the best way to contribute to the well being of society.

Since accession, Malta endorsed and embraced the positions of the EU on a number of issues. It is my opinion that a MEP from Malta shall not simply assume such roles but to fight for rights and propose visions that will lead Europe in the coming years. Yes, Malta must not beg for EU funding. The EU is not the big brother through whom bodies lobby to report local issues. Malta must fight for its rights. Funding is just one such right. Politicians are entrusted by the public to manage and care for the country on behalf of the citizens. We are not dealing with some business transaction; we are dealing with a nation, the land of our forefathers which we are entrusted to secure and protect for posterity. We are just guardians. Representatives of the Maltese nation in the EP should not just accept and be guided by the EU. I believe in leading and with humanity. Our small nation, with a wealth of civilization, has a valid human capital. Malta can assume a leading role in Europe like any other EU member state. The greatness of a nation is not measured by the physical but by the metaphysical. The soul of our nation is as vibrant as any other nation; we accept to be guided but we have to believe that we can lead. We will be leaders in the EU and not just followers. We will lead with the characteristics underlying our psyche, humanity.

 

Prof. Perit Lino Bianco is a Labour Party candidate for the May 2014 European Parliament election

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