Are you tired of saying you want the world to change but not knowing how to do it? Do you want to be part of a movement that aims at changing things for the better? The first step to achieve this is taking the plunge and through critical thinking and analysis choosing who you would like to see representing you at the European Parliament.
The upcoming elections are giving all citizens aged 16 and over the opportunity to choose their ideal candidate that can outwardly face the many challenges Europe is facing, from migration to climate change, from youth unemployment to data privacy.
Through Step Up For Europe – Make it Count! we will not be telling you who to vote for. Our platform is a safe space for you to learn the importance voting, engaging in a democratic process and doing so in a conscious and fully informed way.
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Leading up to the MEP Elections, JCI Malta will be visiting a number of Secondary Schools in order to educate 5th Form students on their voting rights, what they need to know about the upcoming elections, as well as how important it is to be an active citizen in...
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Who are your MEP Candidates?
Alex Agius Saliba, is a lawyer by profession and was born on the 31st of January 1988 in Pietà. He read for a degree and graduated with as a Doctor of Law in 2013 and has furthered his studies in European Law.
His political career started at a young age. When he was 17, he was elected as Secretary General of Social-Democratic student organisation PULSE, a role he served in for 3 years and following this stint in student politics he then moved to the Labour Party where he served as Secretary General and later President of the Labour Youth Forum (FŻL).
Furthermore, during the last 10 years Alex also served as a member of the Labour Party National Executive, within which he got elected with the largest number of votes during the last elections. Between 2008 and 2013 Alex Saliba worked as a journalist at ONE NEWS. Since then, he has worked as a legal advisor within a number of Ministries and Parliamentary Secretariats. Last year he was appointed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as the Head of EU Secretariat in Malta. He currently practices his profession.
Alfred Sant has studied in various institutions including the University of Malta, the Institut d’Administration Publique in Paris and at Boston University and Harvard Business School. He has worked as a diplomat in Brussels, a business manager and consultant, a journalist and academic. In politics he has served as a Member of Parliament, president then leader of the Labour Party, Prime MiniDEDster and at present an MEP specialising in economic and monetary policies for Europe. Over the years he wrote novels, short stories and plays in Maltese, some of which were best sellers.
Sant has supported and will continue to support policies in the EU that encourage the creation of educational and employment opportunities for young people, and has contested austerity policies that are forcing young people to accept precarious jobs. This will include among other initiatives and positions, full support for the expansion of the Erasmus and other exchange programmes; the funding of new job employment schemes for youth; projects to promote the setting up of SMEs by young people; policies that help youths create and contribute to cultural activities, especially those of a cross-border nature; and policies in the digital area that enable young people to acquire and deploy cutting edge skills in IT. Sant will continue to fund and sponsor the participation of young people from Malta in traineeships and congresses organised by the European Parliament.
As a member of the party Brain, Not Ego and as someone who works in the European space programmes, Antoine Borg sees many opportunities for Maltese people. He hopes to be the conduit between Europe and the Maltese on this matter.
According to Borg Europe has huge opportunities for personal growth and for start up funding. He believes that what we lack is a proper information channel between the EU and youth who could leverage these opportunities. This is one thing he would like to change.
Anthony Buttigieg is a Doctor of Medicine who entered politics in 2016 as a founding member of Partit Demokratiku. He spent a year as leader but stepped down to focus on the MEP elections. He is a strong believer in social justice, sustainable economy, a stronger Europe and preparing the younger generation for the rapid changes going on in this world.
Buttigieg would like to focus on the future, and that means education, education that anticipates the rapid changes going on in this world and not playing catch up. He insists that we need to keep Europe and its youth at the fore front of innovation and progress.
Arnold Cassola is a Professor at University as well as an author of over 30 books. Back in 1989 he cofounded Alternattiva Demokratika. Following he was elected Local Councillor in Swieqi in 1993, then elected Secretary General of the European Green Party in 1999 and again in 2003. He was also elected Member of the Italian Parliament in 2006. He will be contesting the MEP elections as an independent candidate.
While he explains tha he cannot promise miracles, he says that he can certainly boast of consistency in his 30 year activity of fighting for a sustainable Malta with clean air, unpolluted seas and in defence of precious public land and coast. All this with a view to ensure that present and future generations enjoying a healthy lifestyle and a high quality of life. While he notes that might fail he insists that at the end of the day nobody can say that he has not tried.
Cyrus Engerer is the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the European Union institutions. He is a Human Rights Activist and has a keen interest in technology. He graduated in a European Studies at the Univerisy of Malta and read a Masters Degree in European Politics at the College of Europe in Bruges. Cyrus is partnered with Randolph De Battista, Labour Party’s CEO.
David Casa is currently the Head of Delegation of the Nationalist Party MEPs, and he’s the longest serving Maltese MEP since his first election in 2004. Born and raised in Valletta, he was the co-founder of Moviment Iva, which successfully campaigned for Malta’s accession to the EU. This year, he has led through a new directive on Work Life Balance, which introduces new rights to families across the EU and significantly benefits those in Malta and Gozo.
With regard to the recently approved Work Life Balance directive, this upcoming new law grants new rights in relation to paid parental leave, paid paternal leave and flexible working arrangements. In the meantime he consistently works to bring Europe and its institutions closer to youths, but involving them on the ground and not only planning short term measures that impact students and youth workers, but as well as ensuring long term measures that ensure the future of Maltese and European young people.
Felix Busuttil was born and bred in Gozo. He fell in love with dance and the arts and started taking lessons at the age of 17. Studied vocational performing arts in London and graduated with diploma in 1987. Returned to Malta and has been a dancer and choreographer for 35 years. Felix now owns and directs three schools and is founder and director of The YADA Dance Company. Felix was an avid advocate for all those with no voice – his LGBT community had been isolated and had no rights for equal love for 25 years. His love for animals, the environment and the protection of our planet had been his agenda for many years. He speaks six languages, is very proficient in political know-how and strives to bring more heart into politics, into society, into us all.
For Busuttil, the EU means opportunity, no borders, believing in equal rights for all its citizens, the access to information, goods, people and above all protection through legal frameworks. He believes in diversity and that through networking, through study programs, through the sharing of thought brought to all from any media we can become stronger. He believes that the EU must come to the people – listen to their hearts, their suffering, their challenges and be of help wherever needed . Busuttil believes that there must be more favorable circumstances where young students and not so young can travel, meet others, study and discourse together and share information.
Fleur Vella read a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Economics and a Master in Business Administration at the University of Malta. She started her career with the Government of Malta carrying out research related to Malta’s pre-accession negotiation position. During this time Vella also started lecturing at the University of Malta as a visiting lecturer. Following Malta’s entry into the European Union, Vella was part of a team working on Malta’s EU budget 2007-2013 negotiations. This process determined the amount of funds Malta received during the period in question. In 2006 Vella joined the private sector and is running a small business enterprise. Throughout the past years she has grown aware of the challenges that micro and small business enterprises encounter in a very competitive set-up. Vella is a spokeswomen in support of micro and small business units. She provides input towards macroeconomic policies required to improve the operations of this economic sector.
Coming from the Nationalist Party sphere, Francis Zammit Dimech has already been representing Malta within the European Parliament, active mainly on the Culture, Education, Youth and Media Committee as well as on the Legal Affairs Committee. His work focused on bringing more funds towards the Erasmus and Discover EU programmes through which young people can experience Europe and its benefits in a more direct manner as well as on funds towards organisation of various cultural events.
If elected, Zammit Dimech intends to keep on working on areas that imp’at youths directly – ranging from more opportunities through Erasmus to better working conditions across Europe for young people who travel from one country to another. He also intends on working on areas of interest to young people directly in line with the input given to him by young people themselves through his regular meetings with them and their organisations.
Frank Psaila is 38 years old and was born in Luqa. Currently living in Siggiewi, Psaila has graduated 5 times, with a Doctorate in Law, a Masters in Industrial Leadership and Management, Notary Diploma , Bachelors in Law and a Bachelors in English. The Nationalist Party candidate works as a lawyer specialising in the field of consultation for commercial and private enterprises.
He vows that if elected he will continue to listen to youths and making sure their voice is heard.
For the last 25 years working in journalism, Josef Caruana fought in favour of the Socialist cause in numerous electoral campaigns, mainly those storical of 2013 and 2017. Outside of politics, Caruana is also a familiar personality. His voice is acclaimed with thousands of listeners on ONE Radio, Partit Laburista’s own station. Caruana has been presenting various radio programmes since 1992.
According to Caruana, the scope of every politician should be that of enhancing people’s everyday lives, nonetheless that of youths. He believes all countries wish that, like Malta, they had practically zero unemployment rates, including among youths, and various opportunities of higher education, that are not just free but that even pay a stipend to improve one’s knowledge. Due to this, as Maltese, he feels we can feel both lucky and proud that, even though living in the smallest country in the European Union, we are a European beacon in this regard.
Josianne Cutajar is a 29 year old lawyer and activist from Nadur, Gozo. Her main area of specialisation is EU law, while her activism focuses on domestic violence and social justice.
Cutajar believes that by working for an EU which listens, and prioritises the essential for a dignified life, this will lead to the full protection of human rights and the safeguarding of social rights.
Lorna Vassallo is from Mġarr but lives in Msida. She is the second generation of politicians in her family. Her father Pio Vassallo ran for 8 general elections between 1953 and 1987. Vassallo’s hobbies are historical reenactments, singing and theatre. She is a very ardent traveller and her travels spanned the five continents including Latin America, North Africa, South Africa, Asia and Australia.
If elected, Vassallo is going to work hard towards pushing for less homelessness, more jobs as well as cheaper education.
Martin Cauchi Inglot’s passion is his country, he cares about the environment dearly, and moreover, our well-being. While he believes that economic success is excellent, he feels this should be shared by all, in terms of finances and quality of life. He has served for 27 years in the Armed Forces, primarily at sea, having a lot of experience doing migrant operations. He later served as a diplomat in Brussels and worked for the EU, where he was responsible for relations with the United Nations, and many of the EU’s strategic partners including the United States and China. He lives in Pembroke, a village under the daily threat of development – and this factor is what actually pushed him into the political scene.
If elected Cauchi Inglott hopes to serve in one of the Parliament’s Committees which will allow him to represent the citizens’ interests in Brussels best. This would either be the Petitions Committee, which serves as a bridge for citizens to the EU; or the Regional Committee that works on cohesion funding programmes that target our owns and cities. The latter will allow him to ensure that all environmental aspects are being considered when EU projects are being planned and implemented, especially cycle lanes. He could also serve in the LIBE Committee which deals with Rule of Law and Security, given his previous experience in the area of security, which will have focus on protecting EU citizens.
Dr Michael Briguglio is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Malta, an established musician and a Sliema local councillor where he was elected four times. He’s been active in civil society for 25 years and he was also the organiser of the protest against corruption. He was an activist in many successful campaigns including the one focusing on public, agricultural and ODZ land, the campaign for divorce, the campaign in favour of same-sex marriage, the one about stipends and the campaign leading to joining the European Union.
Briguglio’s proposals include increased investment in opportunities for youth as well as various social and environmental matters – where he has been consistently active since his student years.
Michael Mercieca has been active in all levels of the Nationalist Party since the age of 15, including many years on the part radio. He was also a local councillor for 6 years and previously contested the general elections on the 2nd and 3rd districts.
His main target as an MEP will be to focus on making the EU Parliament more relevant to every persons’ daily life and to insist that the EU sets up a tough and efficient inspectorate in all countries working independently from the governments to ensure a better value for money spending of EU funds.
Mina Tolu is a 27-year-old candidate for Alternattiva Demokratika – the Green Party. Tolu has over 8 years experience in activism, campaigns and communications, particularly for LGBTQI rights. Tolu believes that by electing green politicians we can ensure a future in which our economy, our quality of life, and our planet will no longer be held hostage by big corporations that put profit before people.
As a young candidate working closely within youth organisations for the past 8 years Tolu is aware of the challenges that young people face at the moment. Tolu will work to ensure a better future for us, by, first of all voting for green, sustainable policies, which will contribute to combatting climate change – and ensure that young people do not inherit a dead home. Secondly, by also working to ban unpaid internships, increasing minimum wage, working to set clear guidelines of the future of work in order to fight back against short-term contracts and the gig economy. Tolu believes that in a world which becomes more automised, we need to embrace the technological advances and increased productivity, which could allow us to work less hours in a week, while earning the same, and being able to have good quality of life.
Miriam Dalli was elected in the European Parliament in May 2014. Dalli is the coordinator for the Socialists and Democrats in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. MEP Dalli has worked on several important legislative files including the law on Asylum and Migration Fund and the law reducing CO2 emissions for vehicles. Within the Labour Party, MEP Miriam Dalli is coordinating LEAD, a project whereby more women are given the opportunity to contest local, EU and European elections.
Throughout this legislature Dalli focused on issues like the environment, climate change, health including mental health, food safety, online security and education amongst others. Dalli believes that these areas are of particular interest to youths as they have an impact not only on their current status but also on their future. She intends to keep pushing for a better quality of life: that is better air quality, less pollution, more open spaces, better standards and enforcement to maintain environmental targets.
Norman Lowell was born in Valletta in 1946. He is the founder and current leader of Imperium Europa. He is a qualified banker, a Dionysian artist and a martial arts expert. His activism dates back to February 1981 when he was still a bank manager. He held a one-man protest during Malta’s political dark-period under a Socialist rule, holding a placard reading ‘Blacks Go Home’.
He aspires to be elected to the European Parliament in order to form a new grouping: Nova Europa, the first step towards the formation of Imperium Europa. He is not interested in what he terms as local petty politics and the local parliament of misfits. He believes that the only real change can come from Brussels.
Peter Agius is married and has 3 sons. He was the first Maltese citizen working for the European Institutions in 2002. He started his career as a lawyer in the legal service of the European Council. He was entrusted with the negotiations of European legislation in areas such as consumer protection, environment, pharmaceuticals, product safety rules, gaming rules and services. In 2012, he was chosen to head the European Parliament Information Office in Malta. In 2017 he was asked by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, to join his team in Brussels. Presently, his role involves giving political advice to the President and writing his speeches. He is keen on aquariums and fish breeding while also interested in gardening and agriculture.
For Agius, who’s contesting as a Nationalist Party candidate, Europe for youths should be about opening up horizons to new opportunities. He will work on 3 main vectors, 1. providing a contact and mentoring platform for opportunities in EU institutions including traineeships but also work placements. 2. pushing further for the enwidening of opportunities through EU funding especially in robotics, ai and innovation, and 3. drive through the use of erasmus to reach virtually all maltese students in the age of 13-25 at least once in their lifetime.
Rebecca Dalli Gonzi is an architect and MEP election candidate. She co-founded her own political party, an Alliance for Change bringing principles of good governance and public efficiency to the forefront. Rebecca PhD (Glasg), MSc (Edin) B.E. & A. (Melit) (Hons) A. & C.E., A.L.C.M. (Lond), is an architect, project co-ordinator and lecturer. She is a registered and certified civil engineer by the Chamber of Architects, Malta. She has worked in the private and public sector, both in Malta and in Scotland. She is a resident academic at the University of Malta lecturing project management in the Department of Construction and Property Management and a guest lecturer within the Department of Public Policy, Malta.
Her book ‘Change and continuity management in the public sector’ reinforces the idea that decisions in political spheres should bring country performance to the forefront, looking past the old ideology of manifestos and moving towards good governance through feedback from public polls on successfully instituted policy.
Before standing as a candidate for the European Parliament, Robert Micallef gained professional experience with the main institutions of the EU. He was employed for a number of years with the European Commisison before serving as an advisor at the European Parliament. In recent years, he was posted as a Maltese diplomat at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU and led negotiations with the European Parliament on behalf of the Council. He is also a former JCI LOM President and have gained immensely from his past work and training with JCI.
His aim is to use his European experience to represent the people of Malta and Gozo in the European Parliament with integrity and commitment in an open and transparent manner. He pledges his availability to offer opportunities for youths who want to engage with Europe.
Roberta Metsola was first elected as MEP in 2013, becoming one of Malta’s first three female MEPs. Professionally, she is a lawyer who has specialised in European law and politics at the University of Malta and the College of Europe in Bruges. As a MEP Dr Metsola is the coordinator for the European People’s Party (EPP) within the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. A proud Maltese and passionate European, in her years in the European Parliament, Dr Metsola has been vocal in her defence of a united Europe, calling for proper balance between the rights and responsibilities of European consumers and companies.
Metsola wants young people to realise their potential. She has always pushed the idea that youth have a role and a responsibility to play in how our society is shaped today. She has spent the past years advocating for the EU to invest more resources in its youth. She has called for the funds invested massively in the EU’s flagship programme – ERASMUS+ over the next budgetary period and she will continue to do so. Young people want Europe to guarantee that they can attain a high level of education, that they can pursue a career of their choice and that their hard work will pay off. They want to see a Europe of values that responds to their concerns and allows them the space to flourish. It is up to politicians to deliver on this.
Roselyn Borg Knight is a lawyer by profession with more than 10 years’ experience practicing law both in Malta and in the UK. She specialises in employment law.
Borg Knight joined politics because she believes that she can make a difference in Malta and Gozo. Within the EU, she would like to work on bringing more funds to our islands to invest in our infrastructure and improve the mobility issues. This will hopefully encourage not just the youths of tomorrow, but also those of today, to make use of alternative modes of transport. She also believes in the power of knowledge. She would love to raise awareness and hold training sessions on the issues that matter; such as: climate change, sustainability, the importance of free press, etc, etc…
Furthermore, even though she is a lawyer, she is also a business owner and entrepreneurship is close to her heart. If she were to be elected, she would do her outmost to improve SMEs (the backbone of EU economy) and their global competitiveness, as this will create more jobs for youths. This will hopefully spark the importance of innovation in our Islands.
How to Vote?
The elections in Malta will take place on Saturday 25th May 2019
You have to be at least 16 years old to vote in the European elections
Voters are to vote in the polling station specified on their voting document
Out of all candidates, Malta will elect 6 MEPs
With MEP elections, there are no electoral districts, but the whole of Malta is considered to be 1 district
Are you an EU Citizen Living in Malta?
If you are an EU citizen living in Malta and you want to vote in the European elections, you can state so upon applying for your residence permit. You will then be provided with a specific form to register that you will vote in Malta. If you already have your residence permit but you didn’t register to vote for the next European elections, you can do so by the 31st March 2019. Once registered to vote, you should personally receive your voting document from the Police authorities. For more information Contact the Electoral Commission to find out more: [email protected]