Q&A with Jesmond Marshall

Meet Jesmond Marshall, a Partit Laburista hopeful for the European Parliament. The Journal explores his vision in 5 questions.

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

My decision to be a candidate for the upcoming MEP elections in 2024 comes from my commitment to defend workers’ rights, particularly those of Maltese workers and their families.

2. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

What sets me apart is my role as a trade unionist. As a trade unionist, I am constantly engaged with workers and their employers. This involvement allows me to understand better the concerns within the workforce and employers.

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

The European Parliament sometimes loses sight of the human aspect, often lost in numbers, unreachable targets, and surveys. My goal is to emphasise that those numbers are actual individuals.

Furthermore, I aspire to see the European Union acting as a peace negotiator, refraining from taking sides in any armed conflict.

Above all, my main goal is to prioritise Malta and the interests of the Maltese, placing them before everything else.

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

The European Union must confront several issues over the next five years. Foremost among these challenges are the repercussions and fallout of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the escalating tensions in the Middle East that have the potential to escalate into a full-scale war.

Another concern is the rise of extreme right and populist governments. These administrations undermine workers’ and minority rights.

Furthermore, EU citizens are grappling with the issue of the rising cost of living and accommodation. This economic strain adds another pressing challenge facing the European Union in the coming years.

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?

I support further integration within the EU if pursued for genuine purposes rather than antagonising any country. Integration efforts must be driven by mutual benefit and shared goals, fostering unity and progress for all member states.

I always remember Dr Alfred Sant’s wise words: one size doesn’t fit all. There are definitive boundaries to where the EU should intervene in a nation’s sovereign affairs. Take, for example, the energy subsidies provided by the Maltese government to our citizens; if left to the EU’s discretion, these subsidies would have been abolished long ago under the guise of harmonisation. Besides, do we want an EU deciding on behalf of Maltese citizens on our neutrality, potentially leading to conflicts and Maltese kids fighting in these conflicts? Decisions impacting our nation’s welfare and well-being must remain firmly within our control.

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