Equality Minister applauds Helena Dalli’s ambitious portfolio after MEP grilling

Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis praised Helena Dalli's performance in the European Parliament after an intense grilling session

Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis
Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis

European Affairs and Equality Minister Edward Zammit Lewis applauded Helena Dalli’s ambitious equality portfolio following her grilling in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

“I think Helena Dalli performed very well and showed that she has an ambitious portfolio,” Zammit Lewis told MaltaToday.

Zammit Lewis was nominated by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to take Dalli’s place as Equality Minister. Dalli, Malta’s commissioner-designate, fielded questions on Wednesday night as an intense test before MEPs decide on her nomination to hold the equality portfolio in the next European Commission.

“The responses she gave to MEPs revealed her competence and abilities in the field of equality, which she gained from her impressive track-record back in Malta.

“From her comments on equality in the realm of disability to uniform laws on anti-discrimination, gender pay gap, and her call for tougher laws on domestic violence, Dalli has disclosed what an ambitious portfolio she aims to have,” Zammit Lewis said.

He added that her performance in Brussels encouraged the Maltese government and that it had no doubt that after Dalli made sure Malta would be the most advanced EU member state in terms of civil liberties and equality back in 2013, she would now take her determined spirit on a European level.

“One can easily describe her as a champion of equality,” Zammit Lewis said.

When asked about how Dalli distanced herself from former Cabinet colleague Konrad Mizzi over his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal during Wednesday’s grilling, Zammit Lewis said that several MEPs had different opinions on the matter.

“Yes, many MEPs, no doubt, would have made different decisions because of different opinions but, on a political level, the decision taken by the government to keep Konrad Mizzi was ultimately endorsed by the electorate in 2017 when the voters factored this decision in before they gave their vote to the Labour Party,” Zammit Lewis said.

He concluded by saying that he would be following Helena Dalli very closely on her journey in Europe.