Former Equality Minister Helena Dalli has been rewarded for her efforts in spearheading pro-LGBT legislation in Malta by landing the nomination as EU Commissioner for Equality.
European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced the portfolio of her team of commissioners today, all of whom will have to be grilled by the European Parliament before officially starting their new jobs.
Recent local media reports had suggested that Dalli was tipped to become Justice Commissioner, which is currently paired with the equality portfolio.
However, von der Leyen has decided to shake things up and split the justice and equality portfolios, with Dalli getting equality and former Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders getting justice.
Honoured and humbled to be given the important portfolio of Equality. Thank you for your confidence President-elect @vonderleyen. I look forward to working with my colleagues in #vdLcommission to mainstream #equality across all areas.#balancedEUgeography #GenderBalanced
— Helena Dalli (@helenadalli) September 10, 2019
“Honoured and humbled to be given the important portfolio of Equality,” Dalli tweeted. Thank you for your confidence President-elect von der Leyen. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Commission to mainstream equality across all areas.”
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that von der Leyen made the perfect choice and that her decision is testament to Dalli’s resolve and Malta’s positive track record in the field of equality rights.
“An EU Commission with gender parity will only be the starting point,” he said.
President elect @vonderleyen made the perfect choice with @helenadalli in charge of implementing an ambitious #equality agenda. Testament to Helena’s resolve and #Malta positive track record in this area. A @EU_Commission with gender parity will only be the starting point -JM
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) September 10, 2019
As Equality Minister in Malta, Dalli spearheaded the legalisation of civil unions and gay marriage, as well as rights for trans and intersex people and the outlawing of ‘conversion therapies’. A recent report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) ranked Malta as the best country in the world in terms of LGBT+ rights.