Miriam Dalli makes it to Politico’s list of key players in the European Parliament

The Labour MEP who got elected for the first time five years ago was instrumental in pushing European legislation to curb CO2 emissions from cars

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli

Miriam Dalli is one of 40 MEPs deemed to be key players in the outgoing European Parliament, according to Brussels-based Politico.

The Labour MEP was described as “a master of building progressive alliances” to counter the conservatives in the European Parliament and the German car industry in matters related to climate change and migration policies.

Dalli was responsible for driving important legislation that placed ambitious targets for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions from cars. She faced strong opposition from the car industry, which wanted lower targets.

Politico also flagged Dalli’s role in proposing a new €10 billion Asylum, Migration and Integration fund, an initiative that still needs the backing of national governments.

Dalli is seeking re-election next May after having been elected MEP for the first time five years ago.

She is also being touted as a possible leadership contestant when Joseph Muscat decides to step down from Labour leader.

Dalli told MaltaToday the list proves that individuals can make a difference, irrespective of where they come from.

"What matters is the perseverance and determination to change things. During the past five years I stood strongly for what I believe in, negotiated hard and brought people from different groups, political leanings, industry and stakeholders together to make a difference that matters. Both laws quoted by Politico are from completely different sectors but at the heart lies a common goal: that of delivering tangible change to EU citizens, in particular to Maltese and Gozitans. If re-elected, I will work  with the same energy and determination on those policies that can take our country to the next level in terms of quality of life and work," Dalli said.

The current term of MEPs comes to an end this month.

Politico’s list is not a round-up of pro-European legislators and includes Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and British MEP Nigel Farage, both Eurosceptics, alongside committed Europeans like Dutch MEP Guy Verhofstadt.

“Our goal is to pick out those who have wielded tangible political influence, set the agenda and stood out from their peers, driving trends both within the legislative arena and in the wider EU political debate,” Politico said in its introduction to the exercise.

The list of influential lawmakers includes German MEP Sven Giegold, who gained fame in Malta for his repeated criticism of the rule of law under the Labour government.

Politico labelled Geigold as the EP’s “transparency king” and described him as “a dogged campaigner against tax evasion, institutional secrecy and corruption, and a champion of whistleblowers”.