New environment minister plans to log and publish all stakeholder meetings

Environment and Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia will log all meetings with stakeholders and lobbyists and publish a transparency register

Environment and Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia
Environment and Planning Minister Aaron Farrugia

Aaron Farrugia, the new Environment, Planning and Climate Change minister, plans to log and publish all meetings he has with stakeholders and lobbyists, in the interest of promoting transparency and good governance.

Farrugia, who was previously EU funds parliamentary secretary, will be publishing a transparency register which details all such meetings, The Malta Independent reported on Sunday.

The minister told the newspaper that good governance when it comes to urban planning will be amongst his top priorities.

While the environment and planning portfolios were previously under two separate ministries, Prime Minister Robert Abela has remerged them under a single ministry

Farrugia said that, as an economist and environmentalist, he felt that while the government had made massive forward strides when it came to economic growth, it was now time to “shift the focus onto socio-economic elements, promoting justice, good governance and environmentally sustainable practices.”

Farrugia underlined that, when it came to planning, good governance and transparency were important for the proper functioning of the sector and for a balance to be found between development and environmental safeguarding.

"I am committed to the highest levels of transparency in decision-making. In the interest of good governance, as a ministry, we shall regularly publish the list of all meetings held by the minister and his chief of staff with lobbyists, social partners, businesses and non-governmental organisations,” Farrugia said.

The Transparency Register will be in line with the Labour Party’s 2017 electoral manifesto, the European Commission’s proposal in 2016 for a European Transparency Register, and best-practices taken on board from other EU member states, he said.

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