Josianne Cutajar | There is a communication deficit between Brussels bureaucrats and cities and villages across Europe

Meet Labour candidate Josianne Cutajar

For me politics is a means to attaining social justice

Therefore the issues at the top of my agenda are social issues, including education, employees’ rights, civil rights and liberties and addressing poverty and inequality. Malta is already working hard on these issues by channeling its economic success to these sectors. These are issues which I believe the EU could do considerably more on, and if elected I will definitely push such issues in Parliament.

Work-Life Balance

I want to work for a European Parliament which pushes policies, measures and directives that provide all the tools and opportunities to young individuals and couples, for instance, to progress in their careers whilst balancing their responsibilities within the family. That will give equal opportunities to any person of any gender to grow individually, but also to create a healthy social environment for the individual and his family’s growth.

Bringing Europe closer to the people

The recent wave of euro-scepticism and a resurgence of far-right ideology is also of concern. I think there is a deficit of communication between the bureaucratic class in Brussels and the regions, cities and villages across Europe. I think the decision-making processes within the Union tend to be complex and it takes very long for a proposal to turn into effective law for the citizen. It gives way too much time for populist politicians who ride on global problems and simplify them, to convince with their short-sighted narrow solutions.

European politicians share in the blame for failing to heavily promote the European project, for failing to explain the process and the small but important changes that European policies have on the daily life of the ordinary citizen. If elected I would, thus, work on bringing the EU closer to its citizens.

Putting Gozo on the agenda

A main challenge is also to effectively influence EU rules and legislation to justly and seriously take into account our islands’ peculiarities; peculiarities of small islands, especially those which suffer from double insularity as in Gozo’s case, deserve particular effort and attention.

 

Quick-fire Q&A

Do you agree with the creation of an EU army?    No. Labour supports Malta’s decision not to take part in a pact which is intended to create a fully-fledged European army.

Should corporate taxation be harmonised across the European Union?    No. Taxation is and should remain a national competence.

Should children of refugees born on Maltese soil be entitled to Maltese citizenship?    No. I agree that children born in Malta may apply, but not be automatically entitled, for citizenship. The system can, however, be improved.

Should MEPs have the power to veto decisions taken by the European Council?    No. European institutions should balance, not block each other.

Should Malta stop selling citizenship, which is also EU citizenship, under the IIP? No. The IIP goes beyond the sale of citizenship. It should be retained and strengthened.

Should Turkey be a member of the EU?    No. Turkey’s EU membership should only be allowed once it is in full compliance with international human rights law and European values.

Should border controls be reintroduced in Schengen countries?    No.  Freedom of movement is one of the EU’s fundamental freedoms and should therefore be safeguarded.

Do you agree with a ‘Mare Nostrum’ style European rescue mission in the Mediterranean financed by the EU budget?    Yes as long as clear rules on disembarkation, which do not disadvantage countries on the European border, are set.

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