AD manifesto for MEP elections: ‘Against abortion but time for a mature debate’

Greens to campaign for minimum income law that would oblige EU states to guarantee decent minimum income

(L-R) Luke Caruana, Ralph Cassar, and MEP candidates Carmel Cacopardo and Mina Tolu
(L-R) Luke Caruana, Ralph Cassar, and MEP candidates Carmel Cacopardo and Mina Tolu

The manifesto of Malta’s green party, Alternattiva Demokratika, will go down in Maltese history as the first ever to call for a “mature debate” on abortion. But it will still reiterate the party’s official stance against its introduction.

Clearly stating it does not agree with abortion, the party is however unequivocal in calling for a debate on the taboo issue.

“As a country, we cannot remain with our head buried in the sand, ignoring reality. It is a known fact that Maltese citizens have been utilizing abortion services for some time and consequently the matter cannot be ignored for much longer: reality has to be addressed,” AD say in their manifesto.

AD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo referred to the considerable number of Maltese who every year proceed overseas to procure abortion, or else make use of abortion inducing pills, “most probably without medical supervision”.

“The aim of such a debate is that of establishing a clearer picture of Maltese reality and assist policy makers in identifying suitable measures to address the causes of abortion in Malta,” the MEP candidate said.

Alternattiva Demokratika are also fielding Mina Tolu as a candidate for the European elections.

Like other green parties AD is proposing a “minimum income directive” to be approved by the next European Parliament, which would oblige member states to guarantee their citizens a “decent minimum income, respecting national social security systems”. AD also advocates for “national experiments on universal basic income and working-time reduction schemes”.

AD reiterated its stance for a fair sharing of responsibilities among member states of rescued migrants and is calling for the re-establishment of “a European sea rescuing mission.”

“Member States on the European frontiers, like Malta, should not be left on their own,” AD said, which also opposes the criminalization of rescue missions.

AD welcomed the government’s declaration that it intends to start the process to remove petrol and diesel run cars from our roads, but this must be accompanied by “a drive to reduce the number of cars from our roads.” One of the proposals made by AD is investment in bicycle superhighways along arterial roads, connecting all towns and villages. AD is also against the use of EU funds “to increase the space for cars”.

In line with other Green Parties AD is proposing that national governments that undermine the rule of law should be “denied control over EU funds”, but final beneficiaries of these funds should still be protected. On both Maltese and European levels, AD is proposing clear rules regulating lobbying. AD is calling for constitutional reforms through which ‘effective authority’ would not remain concentrated in the Prime Minister’s role.

In what appears as a balancing act between local considerations and the European Greens’ support for tax harmonization, AD advocates an ethical and responsible use of Malta’s “competitive tax advantage.” While noting that taxation policy is a matter reserved for the member states, AD also warns against companies using “legal loopholes” to evade payment of taxes.

“Monies which are fed into the Maltese exchequer as a result of this are the result of tax evasion and serve only to endanger measures of social solidarity in other Member States”. AD also supports the introduction of a digital tax in Europe to make big internet platforms and multinationals currently paying almost no tax pay their dues.

AD is calling for the prohibition of the transshipment of arms and surveillance technologies for all ports, including Maltese ports to dictators and warring parties. The Greens refrained from any of a European army while affirming that to maintain peace, “Europe needs a common security and defence

Moreover when human rights and environment are seriously threatened, “Europe has to be able to defend its values by using its foreign policy instruments comprehensively.”