PN to support Helena Dalli’s nomination to European Commission

The Nationalist Party said it would be supporting Dalli's nomination despite the fact that she had not made contact with the Opposition to 'explain her vision' 

Helena Dalli has been nominated as European Commissioner, with nomination endorsed by the Opposition
Helena Dalli has been nominated as European Commissioner, with nomination endorsed by the Opposition

The Nationalist Party will support Helena Dalli’s nomination for the European Commission, despite her not having made contact with the Opposition, a party spokesperson said.

This is the first time the PN is making its position known on Dalli’s Brussels candidature since the Prime Minister announced her name last week.

“While Helena Dalli has so far not made contact with the Opposition to explain her vision, the PN will be supporting her candidature, in order to, with a sense of maturity and responsibility, put the national interest first,” the PN spokesperson said.

The PN is hoping that as a European commissioner, Dalli will use her political influence to ensure that “Muscat’s government takes the fight against corruption and in favour of good governance seriously”.

The spokesperson added that it was not the first time that the country had suffered because of bad reputation as a result of a lack of good governance by the government.

“The PN will be supporting Dalli’s candidature in the interests of Maltese and Gozitan citizens, who are hardworking, honest people of goodwill,” the spokesperson said.

In the run up to last May’s European elections, and before Dalli’s nomination was made public, Muscat had described the PN MEP candidates’ refusal to commit to supporting Malta’s candidate as “shameful”. Muscat had insisted the Labour Party always supported Maltese nominees in Europe.

In 2016, at the height of the Panama Papers scandal, the PN then led by Simon Busuttil, had opposed Leo Brincat’s nomination for the European Court of Auditors.

Brincat’s nomination was rejected by the European Parliament but endorsed by the European Council.

Dalli will be replacing Karmenu Vella, who was commissioner for the environment and maritime affairs in the outgoing legislature.

It is not yet known what portfolio Dalli will be given by incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Dalli stepped down as European affairs and equality minister the moment her nomination to the commission was made known.

Between 2013 and 2017 she held the role of minister for social dialogue, consumer affairs and civil liberties. The European affairs portfolio was added after the 2017 election.

Since 2013, Dalli spearheaded wide-ranging reforms, from the historic introduction of civil unions in 2014 to the banning of gay conversion therapy.

Malta rose to the top of the ILGA-Europe rankings for gay rights, a position it has retained for four consecutive years.

Dalli holds a PhD in political sociology and lectures in economic and political sociology, public policy, and sociology of law at the University of Malta.

One of the veterans within the Labour parliamentary group, Dalli was first elected to the House in 1996 and was appointed parliamentary secretary for Women’s Rights within the Office of the Prime Minister.

The MP from Żabbar has been elected to parliament in every election since. In the last election she was elected on two districts.

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