Q&A with Claudette Abela Baldacchino

Former MEP Claudette Abela Baldacchino is making a comeback bid on behalf of the Partit Laburista in the 8th June European Parliament elections. She shares her thoughts and beliefs in an 5-question interview with The Journal.

1. What drives your decision to run for the European Parliament in the upcoming elections?

Making a difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s in local, national, or European fora, politicians with the right priorities can deliver change for the better of society. My top priority is that of advocating for a social Europe where no one is left behind.

Prime Minister Robert Abela and the Labour Party have been strongly requesting and encouraging me to contest the elections on behalf of the party. We discussed this proposal as a family, and our answer to the appeal was ‘yes’. Together with my family I feel that, through our vast experiences, we have a lot to contribute to better people’s lives.

2. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

The Labour Party has a great team of candidates with Malta’s interests at heart and I am proud to be part of this team.

I can describe myself as a hands-on person. My experience in journalism has taught me a lot. I came in touch with human stories and realities of people of  different genders.  The hands-on experience in the social field showed me realities, while my active roles in influencing legislators through advocacy and shaping legislation, like the IVF laws, have been a testament to how we can bring about change that positively affects different sections of our society.

My vision is to advocate for a Europe that not only prioritises social inclusivity but also actively empowers ‘lit-tfal ta’ Malta’, meaning those outside their biological family settings, children of different abilities, women – especially those facing vulnerabilities like domestic violence, and robustly supports LGBTIQ rights, ensuring that every individual’s dignity and rights are upheld.

My experiences, such as my involvement in PES Women, reflect a pattern of advocacy for the underrepresented and a dedication to reformative politics, directly impacting Maltese families and businesses.

I believe in making a difference in people’s lives. My motivation is rooted in the belief that committed politicians can significantly impact society for the better, across all levels of governance. My foremost goal is to champion a Europe that prioritises social inclusivity, ensuring that no individual is overlooked.

3. What would be your top goals if you were elected?

Upon election, my immediate goals would be to fortify Malta’s economic resilience post-pandemic, champion progressive social policies within the EU framework, and advocate for responsible environmental stewardship that aligns with Malta’s unique context. I have witnessed first-hand people’s emotions on the environment and sustainability, and wish to be a voice to ensure that the current and future generations’ wellbeing is future-proof. As an avid runner late-comer in sports, I feel very strongly about health issues. Nutrition is an important factor in maintaining healthy lifestyles and, with this, I am answering the many questions of how I managed to do this, loose weight and keep it off. This is why I commend Dr Robert Abela in his leadership role as Prime Minister, for masterminding the stability of food prices initiative.

4. What, in your view, are the most pressing issues the European Union will be facing in the next five years?

In the next five years, the EU must grapple with the dual challenge of sustainable recovery and digital transformation. I believe that fostering a ‘Social Europe’ that safeguards employment and social rights amid this transition is crucial.

5. As a general principle, do you support further integration of the European project? Should the EU’s Member States confer on the Union competence over more areas that are currently of exclusive national competence in a bid to improve efficiency, consistency, and harmonisation, and to further protect citizens’ rights?

It is vital to retain the essence of what makes each member state unique, and that when EU rules are being discussed and formulated, bureaucrats in Brussels take note of the different needs and interests of different member states – especially when faced with the realities of small states like Malta. In fact, while I support a harmonised approach to critical issues like climate change, this must be done with great consideration of the different realities in different member states.

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