Their name’s in the hat

The Journal looks into the list of those who have been approved as European election candidates till now.

As Malta gears up for the 8th June European election, a diverse array of candidates is stepping forward, each bringing unique perspectives and commitments to the European Parliament. From seasoned politicians aiming for re-election to fresh faces eager to make their mark, these candidates are set to campaign on a variety of critical issues, ranging from environmental sustainability and digital innovation to social justice and workers’ rights.

This election presents voters with a range of choices, reflecting the multifaceted concerns and aspirations of European citizens at the European level. In the next European Parliament legislative term, Maltese and other European citizens living in Malta will elect 6 out of 720 seats.

The voting system applied for the European elections in Malta is the Single Transferable Vote and most of the regulations are similar to the ones used in general elections. In fact, the conduct of elections and the counting of votes applies according to the provisions in the General Elections Act. A basic difference from general elections, however, is that the Maltese islands are considered as one electoral district.

In order to assist our readers as they start making up their mind, we have listed all the candidates who have been announced so far in alphabetical order, according to the party they represent.

Partit Laburista

ABELA BALDACCHINO Claudette

After having served as a MEP briefly in 2013 after being co-opted to the position following Louis Grech’s election in the national elections, Claudette Abela Baldacchino is re-igniting her political career with a focus on addressing infertility through scientific methods, advocating for enhanced mental health practices, and fighting against domestic violence. Her return is marked by a dedication to pressing health and social issues, aiming to bring attention and solutions to matters deeply affecting individuals and families. This campaign reflects her broader commitment to improving societal well-being and safety.

AGIUS SALIBA Alex

Alex Agius Saliba has been an MEP since 2019. He served as rapporteur of the Digital Services Act, a role for which Politico Europe listed him as one of the 20 MEPs to watch during 2020. In December 2021 he was elected as one of the nine vice-presidents of the S&D Group. He served as the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the universal charger policy, an initiative that led to significant changes, such as Apple adopting a common charging connection in compliance with EU law​​​​. Agius Saliba’s past work and focus areas suggest a continued emphasis on digital innovation, consumer protection, and environmental sustainability, with a particular emphasis on the prices of food in Malta.

ATTARD Daniel

Mtarfa’s mayor Daniel Attard is a lawyer by profession, who has been vocal in favour of former Labour leader Joseph Muscat’s potential return to politics. Furthermore, he has voiced his opinion that Roberta Metsola, the current European Parliament President, does not merit a second term, criticising her for not utilising her influential position to Malta’s advantage and for instances where he perceives she acted contrary to Maltese interests.

AZZOPARDI FLORES Clint

An economist, Clint Azzopardi Flores is promoting his experience within Malta’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. He prioritises national interest, including Malta’s neutrality, the EU budget, foreign direct investment, and diplomacy. Azzopardi Flores is particularly concerned with issues such as security and the green transition within the EU. He questions further EU integration if it does not consider the needs of smaller states like Malta, highlighting that one-size-fits-all policies often favour larger member states over smaller ones.

BAJADA Thomas

Hailing from the island of Gozo, Thomas Bajada has a diverse background that spans across fishing politics, international ocean governance, EU and international law, and promoting Maltese cultural heritage. He has shared his dissatisfaction with current political practices and has voiced his commitment to adopting a more inclusive approach, emphasising the importance of listening to everyone’s voices collectively.

BONELLO Jesmond

Leveraging his experience with the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UĦM), Jesmond is committed to enhancing work conditions. His campaign focuses on worker challenges across Malta and Gozo, with a strong focus on social dimensions and establishing a workplace that is both fair and equitable. His efforts underscore the importance of addressing the real-life concerns of workers, advocating for policies that ensure justice and equality within the labour market.

ELLUL Steve

Steve Ellul’s campaign is geared towards enhancing Malta’s environmental landscape, particularly focusing on green urban areas to improve life quality. Advocating for MEPs proud of their Maltese heritage, he believes in dedicated representatives who prioritise national pride. His background as Project Green’s former CEO supports his vision for a greener Malta through accessible green spaces.

MARSHALL Jesmond

An ex-shipyard worker and currently secretary of the General Workers’ Union’s Metal & Construction section, Jesmond Marshall has openly expressed his irritation with the European Union making decisions based on numbers and statistics without considering the workers and their families behind these figures. Marshall had pledged to meet as many workers and their families as he can, highlighting his commitment to representing their interests and voices.

VELLA GAFÀ Marija Sara

A lawyer, athlete, and the current mayor of Gudja, Marija Sara Vella Gafà is passionate about improving mental well-being support services in Malta and having more opportunities for autistic individuals and their families. She has also spoken fervently against a one-size-fits-all attitude and how EU regulations create divisions among Member States by favouring larger economies at the expense of smaller or peripheral nations within the European continent.

Partit Nazzjonalista

Peter Agius is a former member of EP President Antonio Tajani’s cabinet and former Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta.

Lee Bugeja Bartolo is an aerospace engineer who was a candidate for the Partit Demokratiku in the 2017 general election.

Miriana Calleja Testaferrata de Noto has, until last December, been president of the PN’s youth wing, MŻPN.

Norma Camilleri is a speech-language pathologist who serves as CEO of the Malta Federation of Professional Associations.

David Casa has been occupying his seat as European legislator since 2004, which makes him Malta’s longest serving MEP.

Roberta Metsola has been serving as an MEP since 2013. In 2020 she was elected as the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, becoming the first Maltese national to hold the post. In January 2022, she was elected President of the European Parliament.

LouiseAnne Pulis is a lawyer with a Masters in Human Rights, focusing on justice for vulnerable members of society.

ADPD (the Green Party)

Ralph Cassar has been actively involved in Maltese politics, particularly focusing on environmental issues, sustainable development, and green policies.

Sandra Gauci serves as the ADPD’s leader, making her as the third woman to head a political party in Malta.

Mina Jack Tolu is known for their involvement in environmental and social justice issues, particularly green politics and LGBTQ+ Rights.

Imperium Europa

Norman Lowell is a retired banker and the head and founder of Imperium Europa, which advocates for Europe as a homeland for white people and aims to unite Europe under a far-right banner​.

Editor’s note: Far right movements undermine institutions and exploit democracy to weaken freedoms and rights. Voting for the far right contributes to the normalisation of extremist views in society and to undermine the hard-fought European values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and respect for human rights, that are essential for a peaceful, prosperous, and just society.

Volt Malta

Matthias Iannis Portelli is Volt Malta’s first MEP Candidate. He has been active in a number of NGOs over the years, and is currently studying for a Masters in International Security Studies.

Main photo: Adobe Stock

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