[WATCH] President urges elected MEPs to safeguard Maltese interests in face of one-size-fits-all EU policies

George Vella tells re-elected and newly elected MEPs to put forward their own initiatives in the European Parliament • PN MEPs miss meeting with President

The president told MEPs that they must look out for Malta's interests and not accept one-size-fits-all policies
The president told MEPs that they must look out for Malta's interests and not accept one-size-fits-all policies

Maltese MEPs must ensure they look out for Malta's specific interests, since often what works for larger European countries might not be what is best for a small island nation, President George Vella said on Tuesday.  

In a meeting with re-elected and newly elected MEPs, George Vella highlighted the importance of Euro parliamentarians working on their own personal initiatives while representing the country in Europe.

Vella remarked that, while he had wanted to meet all MEPs together today, both the PN's representatives in the European Parliament - David Casa and Roberta Metsola, were unable to attend the meeting since they had already returned to Brussels. As a consequence, only Labour MEPs Miriam Dalli, Alfred Sant, Josianne Cutajar and Alex Agius Saliba met with the President.

"Unfortunately David Casa and Roberta Metsola could not attend. My aim was to have everyone here," Vella said.

A spokesperson for Metsola told MaltaToday that she would not be attending the meeting today because of commitments in Brussels and that she would be meeting the President, along with fellow PN MEP David Casa, at a later stage.

"I wish you the best and have no doubt you will do your utmost for Malta," he said, "You need to keep in mind that what is good for big countries might not be so good for smaller ones, so we need to be conscious of Malta's specific situation."

He emphasised that, following the success in the European elections of a number of relatively small parties across the EU, the European Parliament's political groupings are now considerably different than they were before.

"There will be new challenges for the European Parliament, the formation of which is now very different from how it was previously."

The President said it remained to be seen what influence the smaller parties would have in Europe, and said the new formation created challenges when it came to alliances.

He went on to tell MEPs that their election was "not a prize, but a duty."

"You have a hard job to do. I believe a lot of work has to be carried out on a personal basis, and it is important that while you keep to your party's politics, you also undertake your own initiatives," he stressed.

Miriam Dalli insists that the electorate chose the government's positivity

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said that the electorate had chosen the government's positivity and vision in the elections.

This despite being asked by MaltaToday how she could reconcile this claim with the fact that PN MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa—whom Labour accused of sowing division on multiple occasions—were, like her, re-elected.

"I think people recognise the work [Maltese] MEPs did in the last five years. The electoral result was clear in terms of which policies and direction the majority of the people want. And, yes, I believe the people chose positivity, unity and [the government's] vision," Dalli said.

Questioned on whether she was ready to work with Metsola and Casa in Europe, Dalli said she was willing to work with those who wanted to defend Malta's interest.

"I am ready to work with those who want to do what's best for Malta and Maltese families," she said, "In the past five years, I've always ensured that in everything I did, I portrayed Malta in a good light and defended the country's interests. I will work with anyone who has the same vision and interest."

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