Alfred Sant | MEPs must ensure EU policies do not end up as one-size-fits-all exercises

Meet Labour candidate Alfred Sant

Maltese MEPs need to focus on matters that relate to Maltese interests, such as EU funding for Malta but beyond that too, matters related to project financing for farmers, SMEs and artisanal initiatives; Gozo; immigration; anti-terrorist action; eurozone and taxation issues; fisheries; hunting and trapping; culture, education and the arts; energy; environment; security challenges.

In all these contexts, major aims would be to ensure that as much as possible, EU policies especially for the single market, do not end up as one-size-fits-all exercises, and that initiatives meant to encourage federalism within the eurozone and the wider EU framework are subject to wide-ranging discussion and are not rushed through.

Worked through item by item, this would break down as follows when considering texts that reach the European Parliament by way of resolutions, directives and regulations in draft, and by submitting amendments, evaluations or lobbying for support on specific measures:

EU funding for Malta

Ensure that past balances between contributions and receipts on a national basis are respected within the parameters of Malta’s vastly improved economic and financial situation; make sure that EU funding is flexibly earmarked for concrete objectives directly related to Malta’s state of development while allowing for the need to shift between social and economic aims according to how the situation in Malta and Europe develops;

Financing for farmers, SMEs and artisanal activities

Carry out ongoing follow up on EU policies that cover the consolidation of financing opportunities in these sectors especially with reference to the situation in small, peripheral islands and border regions;

Gozo

Insist on Gozo’s regional character and the need for it to be extended special consideration under the application of EU rules  with reference to connectivity, agricultural, industrial, artisanal, cultural, digital, educational and health issues; create public relations opportunities for Gozo to be identified as an island with its own identity and help in all relevant ways to  promote projects jointly with other island regions that would benefit from separate EU funding;

Anti-terrorist action

Support all forms of reasonable cooperation between European security forces to control all potential terrorism initiatives;  contribute to and support all proposals to enhance Maltese participation in and contribution to anti-terrorism safeguards, in full respect of Malta’s sovereignty and status of neutrality;

Eurozone and taxation issues

Support moves towards the continuation of the banking union while insisting that smaller banks in peripheral member states should be allowed to follow the practice they have followed and developed in past decades, while taking care not to burden them with excessive controls that make sense for the large banking firms in Europe like Deutsche Bank but increase unbearably the administrative overload of smaller banks like BOV; resist with all means and as red lines, all proposals that tend towards the introduction of tax harmonisation, while supporting initiatives that emphasize transparency in all tax matters;

Fisheries

Support moves that prioritise the needs of traditional fishermen as contrasted to the interests of the big  commercial fishing fleets; support conservation policies for fish stocks but while ensuring that the livelihood of traditional fishermen and their families is protected;

Hunting and trapping

Ensure that while EU legality is respected, the rights and interests of hunters and trappers, limited though they have become with Malta’s accession to the EU, are not further constrained;

Culture, education and arts

Endeavour to promote the work of Maltese artists in Europe and beyond; support educational and professional training programmes in the arts and sciences;

Energy

Support EU measures that seek to bring into effect, in line with international agreements at the UN level, environmental curbs on development and operational projects in energy production; endorse proposals that promote energy research and production in renewable sources of energy; take part in initiatives to promote sustainable finance covering environment-friendly projects that converge towards climate change and other EU wide environmental goals;

Environment

Support all measures that are compatible with  EU rules, especially on climate change, so long as they are  also compatible with the potential and resources for Malta to meet them in the specified time frames (there are huge problems in this regard);

Security challenges

Support security cooperation  and common border controls across Europe;  show disagreement with further development of military and defence policies in Europe that is incompatible with Maltese neutrality while not seeking to block such development between member states which believe in it.

 

Quick-fire Q&A

Do you agree with the creation of an EU army?    No

Should corporate taxation be harmonised across the European Union?    No.

Should children of refugees born on Maltese soil be entitled to Maltese citizenship?    Yes

Should MEPs have the power to veto decisions taken by the European Council?    No

Should Malta stop selling citizenship, which is also EU citizenship, under the IIP?    No

Should Turkey be a member of the EU?    Yes

Should border controls be reintroduced in Schengen countries?    No

Do you agree with a ‘Mare Nostrum’ style European rescue mission in the Mediterranean financed by the EU budget?    No

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