People need a good reason to vote, that’s always been clear. It may seem to some that the MEP elections is just another day of voting, but the EU can have a massive affect on the everyday lives of Maltese people. We can’t miss the opportunity to elect the best people to represent us in Brussels. We have just 6 of them, as opposed to 60 or 90 for other EU countries… so we really need to pick up the aces.
1.PN candidate against all the odds
I was still working in Brussels with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani when I accepted the call to run for MEP in September, leaving little room for political campaigning in Malta.
My friends told me ‘you don’t need this’ given that I am an established EU official. Those closest to me told me this is the worst time ever to be the foot soldier for the Nationalist Party, and yet, I felt this is the moment where my energy and experience are needed, to keep labour in check and to work towards results for Malta and the Maltese.
2. So why I am running?
I’ve seen first hand how Europe can make a huge difference to sectors of society and am deeply concerned that we took a confrontational relationship with EU and are disregarding many opportunities passing by unnoticed.
My campaign looks to give people a good reason to vote. A reason that goes straight to the heart of their work, values, and everyday lives. I want to communicate this in a frank and direct style, no BS, no frills – but rife with researched ideas and substance.
I am building this campaign on 16 years experience in the EU institutions, and then applying that knowledge to my visits to businesses, workers and campuses all over the islands. From fields to factories to workshops, offices, student cafes and fishing trawlers, I met thousands of ambitious Maltese, Gozitans and Expats with a view to test my proposals to bring European solutions to local problems.
The amazing thing about this is that then I found a big big family ready to endorse my ideas and turn them into policies. That’s what I am doing within the Nationalist Party. My little seeds have found very fertile soil. With the party we presented 6 main proposals so far, from proposals to tap into EU direct funds for small businesses, to measures to strengthen public service, to concrete ways to promote the Maltese product.
This is an amazing opportunity that everyone should consider. The PN is sometimes seen as weak from the outside, but in reality it is a party open to ideas, open to input from all those of good will. It’s true that we need to improve, but I’d rather improve with the open minded than side with arrogant know-it-alls.
3. An MEP can move mountains – We need the best 6
An MEP can move mountains if they can make the most out of the many opportunities available for the country.
Yes, laws can often be drawn up with other realities in mind beyond Malta, but it is up to us to mould EU laws that fit our country better. Like a glove which needs to fit our hands, not too tight.
This is why we need to make sure that we are putting the very best people in Brussels, who can push forward the issues facing our younger generations, workers, and business so we can truly take the next step forward.
4.‘Rebbiegha li jmiss’ – 7 results for Malta
I think former PN leader Eddie Fenech Adami best summed up Malta’s special experience in Europe by saying that our country had entered a ‘New Spring’ through EU membership.
Being part of the EU has certainly yielded its fruit, but more must be done to prolong this season of plenty, a key reason why my campaign motto is ‘Rebbiegha li jmiss’ or ‘The Next Spring’.
This is why I’ve outlined 7 results that we can achieve if I am elected as an MEP. By placing proper emphasis on EU funding, we can provide incredible opportunities to youths, the civil service, business, SMEs and our unique Maltese identity.
5. Let’s treble our ambition on youth opportunities
Only 1 in 20 Maltese youths get to benefit from EU programmes right now. New EU money can treble our participation rate in work placements, traineeships, studies or volunteer experience abroad. Let us seize that opportunity! We need to invest in capacity building and awareness, an MEP can take that process by the hand with interventions from Brussels.
We are too small an island to restrict younger generations to the country, who need to be able to gather crucial experiences abroad to have an invaluable effect on Malta.
6. Putting local farmers and fisherman at the forefront of the agenda
We are what we eat. Right now we import 70% of our food, while our own farmers go bankrupt. We cannot depend so heavily on foreign imports. What happens if there is a food crises abroad?
Since July last year, I have practically forced the serious issues facing farmers onto the national agenda, with Party Leader Adrian Delia and MEPs like Alfred Sant now making Maltese agriculture a key part of their politics.
I also lobbied the European Commission to properly address the concerns facing our fisherman, particularly when it comes to lampuki. This I did as a candidate… imagine as an MEP.
7. The union must respect the diversity of EU Member States
Malta is unique, we all know that. This is why we need a European Union that respects our country’s particular characteristics and become a platform for our culture, language and traditions.
There is really so much more we can do if by using the right approach and work together.
8. My positive politics can help everyone
I’ve always believed that positive politics can make sure that everyone in society benefits, no matter where you come from or whom you vote for.
With the number of disenfranchised or floating voters only growing, I am certain that I can be a representative in the EU for the entire country.
The Labour Party, it seems, has taken note taking me to task on anything imaginable, with One TV even running a segment to mock my cooking abilities …which I’ll admit can improve.
To be honest, I don’t blame them feeling the heat when I am offering the kind of politics that can actually deliver clear solutions that truly affect the everyday lives of people in Malta.
At the end of it all, criticism is always healthy. It is the only way we can strive to go one step further and deliver better results for every person in the entire country.
I’ll be happy to chat on messenger or directly in public comments on FB page PeterAgiusMalta and instagram where you can also follow details on the 7 areas and respective results we can achieve together.