Robert Abela’s Brussels ‘Sherpa’ tipped for head of secretariat role

EU policy expert Glenn Micallef has been named as one the possible candidates for the high-powered role of the Prime Minsiter’s ‘chief of staff’

Prime Minister Robert Abela and EU Secretariat head Glenn Micallef (left)
Prime Minister Robert Abela and EU Secretariat head Glenn Micallef (left)

European policy expert Glenn Micallef is being tipped for the role of head of secretariat to Prime Minister Robert Abela, MaltaToday has learnt.

Micallef is currently the European Council sherpa to the Prime Minister when in Brussels, and is formally the head of the EU secretariat in the foreign and EU affairs ministry.

If appointed, Micallef will replace Clyde Caruana as head of secretariat, who now is being earmarked for the post of finance minister after the resignation of Edward Scicluna.

Micallef, who is strong in policy-making, is deemed to be a “civil service oriented” choice if he is made chief of staff, unlike previous choices like businessman Keith Schembri, or even Caruana himself, who despite being a former Jobsplus CEO was considered to be a political player.

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Micallef has been the director of the EU Coordination Department (EUCD) within the foreign ministry, bring responsible for the government’s overall internal coordination on all EU-related matters.

He has worked to ensure Malta’s effective participation in EU structures and policy making through a timely, consistent and coherent approach. His department is also responsible for the coordinating the smooth transposition and implementation of EU legislation.

Micallef has already had experience dealing with various ministries as head of the EUCD. “Many a times we need to ensure that we find a fair balance between the interests of different ministries, that may be conflicting, and that take into account both the discussions taking place in Brussels as well as the impact of any proposals on Maltese stakeholders,” he said of his role at the head of the EUCD.

Micallef would be keen to ensure Malta remains a “neutral and honest broker” at the highest of EU levels. He has also been a central player in Malta’s Brexit negotiations in the European Council.

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