The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 21 September 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 4 months ago

European laws are meant to apply across all the EU. In doing so, they introduce the same criteria and the same way by which to deal with issues in situations which frequently are greatly dissimilar. The argument has long been expressed that a one size fits all solution is inadequate and cannot be ignored as if it has no value.

Differences between regions obviously include those caused by the factor of size. A small community is not governed with the same mechanisms that make sense in much bigger entities. So, to take into account this very evident divergence, regulations and directives adopted in Brussels frequently invoke the principle of proportionality.


The way by which European laws get implemented must be proportional – it must apply according to the national or regional circumstances prevailing in the localities concerned. Still on this basis too, problems cannot but arise. For in which situations is proportionality to be applicable? For contracts financed by the EU? For the consideration of conflicts of interest? For the evaluation of how state subsidies are being administered and covering services which may or may not be considered essential?



How many of the so-called irregular immigrants arriving in Europe are really seeking asylum? It hardly appears that they are in the majority, indeed the contrary seems to be the case. Mostly they are looking for work.

Now, if they are fleeing hunger or abject poverty in their country, granted, it could be claimed that they are seeking asylum from life conditions that would destroy them as effectively as the worst of persecutions. In this sense, they are seeking “asylum”. But their action is not generally accorded this meaning, used to justify when arrivals are to be given a special treatment based on solidarity by the countries which receive them.

The asylum concept is mostly designed for refugees – those who had to escape from their country as it is engulfed in war or those whose life is at huge risk given ongoing developments in their country.                   



Naturally the recent crash of the Frecce Tricolori plane at the start of an aerobatic display has caused deep dismay in Italy. As it crashed to the ground, the plane hit a car in which a family was driving by. A five year old girl was burnt alive inside. 

It will be said that such a grievous accident could have happened in any other scenario. Pilots of the Frecce Tricolori are wellknown for their excellent flying skills, just like the team from the RAF, the British airforce, known as the Red Arrows. I still find that the organisation of such displays is less than a good idea.

For sure, there are dangers in putting them on. Years ago in the Ramstein military base in Germany, scores of people died in an accident that has remained in memory. The spectacle provided by the pilots is, yes... usually spectacular, no other word. But really and truly, is it so impossible to do without it? – especially at a time when it is being proclaimed everywhere that we need to reduce the volumes of carbon that we throw up into the atmosphere? And in this way, we would be definitely ruling out horrible tragedies like that of the little girl who was burnt alive.


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