Our identity, our youth, our Gozo

Thomas Bajada, PL candidate for the upcoming European elections, discusses the three key issues that have consistently come up in his conversations with the electorate.

As a young candidate representing the Labour Party in the upcoming European Parliament elections, I have been privileged to engage in profound conversations with many people across our islands. These discussions have crystallised the importance of three critical issues: nurturing our distinct identity, empowering our youth, and prioritising the sustainable development of Gozo. These themes have not only shaped my campaign but are also the pillars upon which I intend to build my own political priorities.

In a union as diverse as Europe, it is essential that the individual voices of its smaller Member States are not only heard but celebrated. Our Maltese and Gozitan identities enrich this union. As your representative in the European Parliament, I would strive to ensure that our language, traditions, local produce, and cultural heritage are promoted and protected. This includes advocating for more substantial support for cultural initiatives and ensuring that Maltese and Gozitan artists, historians, and creators receive the recognition and platforms they deserve at the European level. I would also continue to advocate for the importance to promote the local produce, which is a cornerstone of our culinary tradition and ensures our islands’ food sovereignty.

The future belongs to the young. Nevertheless, too often, their voices are the least represented at the decision-making table. Our youth are not just leaders of tomorrow – they are doers of today. My commitment is to bring their concerns, aspirations, and innovative ideas to the forefront of EU policymaking. Initiatives like expanding digital education, increasing job and education mobility across the union, and investing in sustainable job creation in emerging sectors will be my focus. Furthermore, I would work to ensure that youth forums and councils have real power and are not just advisory.

Photo: Keith Wako

Gozo holds a special place in the hearts of all who know it (and endured the sacrifices it brings with it as the smaller island). It faces unique challenges that require tailored solutions. My goal as MEP would be to secure targeted investments that address these specific needs. Priorities include enhancing Gozo’s connectivity with Malta and beyond, supporting sustainable tourism that respects our natural resources, and fostering innovation through incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those driven by young entrepreneurs. Gozo must not be left behind as our nation advances; it must advance with us, stronger and more resilient.

This campaign is turning out to be a journey of shared stories and shared dreams (hence, ‘L-Istorja Tiegħek, Tiegħi’). As we look to the future, let’s choose a path that brings those dreams to life – a path that respects our past and secures our future. By focusing on our rich identity, by empowering and inspiring our vibrant youth, and by committing to the holistic development of Gozo, we can forge a future that is inclusive and prosperous.

Vote for unity. Vote for innovation. Vote for Gozo and Malta that shine brighter together in Europe.

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