20 years on

It’s essential for voters to recognise the importance of their voice in shaping the future of Malta within the EU.

Malta’s marking of the first two decades of its European Union membership serves as a moment of both pride and introspection.

Undoubtedly, Malta’s accession to the Union in 2004 marked a significant chapter in its history, opening doors to new opportunities, increased connectivity, and shared prosperity. However, amidst the celebrations, it’s crucial to acknowledge the hurdles Malta has faced over the past two decades.

One recurring challenge has been the one-size-fits-all approach of the European Union, which often fails to address the unique needs and circumstances of member states like Malta. This is particularly evident in policies like the Emissions Trading System (ETS) which, while aiming for environmental progress, disproportionately affects Maltese farmers and businesses. The rigid implementation of such policies without sufficient consideration for local contexts highlights the need for greater flexibility and tailored solutions within the EU framework.

Moreover, the elephant in the room remains the issue of voter apathy. Despite the significance of European Parliament Elections, many people, especially the youth, still refuse to exercise their right to vote. This apathy stems from various factors, including a perceived disconnect between EU institutions and citizens, as well as a lack of awareness about the tangible impact of EU decisions on everyday life.

As a young woman participating in my second European election, I feel a sense of responsibility to advocate for greater engagement and representation in European politics. While acknowledging the shortcomings, I believe in the transformative power of active citizenship and constructive dialogue to drive positive change within the EU.

Looking ahead to the 8th June European elections, it’s essential for voters, particularly the youth, to recognise the importance of their voice in shaping the future of Malta within the EU. By actively participating in the democratic process, we can contribute to building a more inclusive, responsive, and prosperous European community that truly reflects the diverse needs and aspirations of its citizens.

In commemorating Malta’s 20th anniversary in the EU, let us celebrate the achievements, confront the challenges, and recommit ourselves to the principles of solidarity, cooperation, and democratic participation that lie at the heart of the European project.

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