Robert Micallef: 25 facts about the Labour MEP candidate

My main European achievement is my role in chairing the European Union’s technical preparations for a €44-billion-plan to stem irregular migration flows from Africa to Europe.

Robert Micallef is a PL candidate for the European elections

1. My MEP bid is the first paperless EP election campaign without posters, placards or leaflets. It is primarily a digital campaign complemented by TV appearances, radio and face-to-face meetings.

2. I became a member of the Labour Party thirty years ago. Dom Mintoff wrote to me when I was a student in Oxford, suggesting I join the Young Socialists. I still have the letter.

3. With Alfred Sant and Charles Mangion, I participated in the constituent congress in The Hague that created the Party of European Socialists in 1992.

4. I was posted to Malta’s diplomatic mission in Brussels and served as a negotiator for Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

5. My main European achievement is my role in chairing the European Union’s technical preparations for a €44-billion-plan to stem irregular migration flows from Africa to Europe. As Council Representative, I successfully led the negotiations with the European Parliament.

6. My work as a negotiator during Malta’s EU Presidency is the subject of an ongoing Masters research thesis at the Université Libre de Bruxelless conducted by Remi Roland, a Belgian UN employee.

7. I was employed as an economist with the European Commission and was appointed editor of Eurobarometer surveys.

8. I was a member of the European Commission Delegation to Malta during the years of accession negotiations that led to Malta joining the EU.

9. My nomination as an MEP candidate has received the endorsements of Oliver Friggieri, Alfred Sant and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Alex Sceberras Trigona, among others. My campaign’s chief canvasser and agent is legal historian Raymond Mangion.

10. This is my second attempt as a Labour MEP Candidate. My election bid in 2004 was supported by Dom Mintoff, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and Miriam Dalli. In that election, Joseph Muscat, Louis Grech and John Attard Montalto were elected on behalf of the Labour Party.

11. I am one of Malta’s blogging pioneers and won the Malta Journalism Awards (e-journalism) in 2006 and 2008.

12. As President of the National Youth Council in the nineties, I co-organised Malta’s first anti-racism campaign – All Different All Equal.

13. I am a founder of the Labour Youth Forum and a former Secretary General of the European Socialist Youth.

14. Together with Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, I was elected to the leadership board of the European Youth Forum at the Salzburg Congress in 1998.

15. I am a former President of the Ghaqda tal-Malti and am committed to safeguarding the official status of the Maltese language in the EU.

16. As a football enthusiast, I am a keen follower of Malta’s national team. I also support Tottenham Hotspur.

17. I studied politics and economics at the University of Oxford followed by graduate studies in Boston, Paris, Grenoble and Parma.

18. As a European student activist in 1989, I was arrested by the Communist regime of Czechoslovakia and was released the day after the Velvet Revolution.

19. I am a member of the University of Malta’s Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy and teach European politics. I have published book chapters on the foreign policies of Dom Mintoff and Eddie Fenech Adami.

20. As a student of the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Art, I played the part of Shakespeare’s Hamlet under the direction of Jon Rosser.

21. My wife Larisa has a PhD in linguistics from Moscow State University and we have a daughter named Elizabetta.

22. I am a shareholder of the New Internationalist magazine.

23. The first major United Nations event I attended was the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro where I was elected a member of the NGO steering committee.

24. I am a co-founder of Global Africa, a foundation set up with the support of UNIDO and the German Government during the EU-Africa Caribbean Pacific Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

25. During my time in Oxford, I was appointed secretary to a delegation that travelled to Baghdad during the Iraq war. The mission included three British Labour MPs and its objective was to release European hostages and to promote a diplomatic end to the conflict.

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