On Thursday evening the Labour Party launched its manifesto ahead of the MEP elections taking place on 8th June.

In his remarks, embattled Prime Minister Robert Abela highlighted that the Labour Party envisions a “future-proof European Union (EU).”

“We will strive to have stronger connectivity which links us to the European mainland and opens new opportunities, both commercially and for our people,” he noted.

The manifesto is based on 10 strategies including peace, competition, and connectivity, among others. However, what’s in it for businesses?

  • ‘Standing firm in the face of pressures’

The Labour Party highlighted the most recent pressures that have struck most member states, including high energy prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Noting Malta’s “bold decision” to introduce fixed-energy prices, the party stated that its guiding principle will be to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Maltese and Gozitan families and businesses.

Despite not being clear on paper on how the party intends to do so, it remarked that Members of the European Parliament, elected on behalf of the Labour Party, will be guided by this principle.

“We will stand firm in the face of pressures that oppose our national interests – Maltese and Gozitan families and businesses will always come first,” reads the manifesto.

  • ‘A competitive Malta’

The Labour Party describes Maltese and Gozitan businesses, “particularly the vital small and medium enterprises” as the backbone of Malta’s economy.

Therefore, the manifesto emphasises that regulations must be designed to accommodate their needs and ensure their continued competitiveness.

Over the years, businesses highlighted bureaucratic practices, supply-chain issues and pressures in relation to keeping up with new and upcoming regulations. These were experienced on top of other constraints such as inflation, shipping and high transportation prices.

Now the party is pledging that businesses’ realities will be recognised, to allow more space for fair competition and to benefit from the single market.

“MEPs will advocate for European legislation that addresses these realities effectively,” the party said.

Moreover, it promises to advocate for a systematic evaluation of the impact of small member states and island state members, such as Malta, before the enacting of any legislation.

“Furthermore, we will ensure that the proposed substantial reduction of bureaucracy is indeed implemented, thus making European Union assistance more easily accessible,” it continued.

  • ‘Stronger connectivity’

Next on the agenda, the Labour Party emphasises investment in connectivity infrastructure. The manifesto details that better connectivity will improve the movement of people and products while also serve as a bridge to create cross border opportunities, within the EU and beyond.

The party reiterates that an island state has a greater dependency on the aviation and maritime sector. As previously raised by current MEP Alex Agius Saliba, in discussions raised about alleged profiteering on food importation, having such a dependency can have implications on pricing on island states like Malta.

Moreover, the manifesto recognises that Malta has a highly distinct maritime flag and registry and is already well connected with other counties.

The Labour Party launches its manifesto ahead of the elections / Facebook

“This is the foundation of our import-driven economy that sustains the imports of raw materials and services for manufacturing and consumer goods in Malta.”

Therefore, it highlights that elected members on behalf of the party will strive to protect and promote the Maltese maritime sector, offer incentives for decarbonisation efforts and support shipping routes that connect Malta to other continents.

  • ‘Create sustainable opportunities for Gozitan youths and businesses’

The party remarked that sister island Gozo will be the foundation of the country’s environmental transition and therefore, efforts will prioritise funding environmental projects in smaller islands like Gozo.

Despite so, it added that digitalisation will be the key priority “to create sustainable opportunities for Gozitan youths and businesses.”

By working on becoming the first carbon-neutral zone in the country, the Labour party highlights that such a strategy will ensure new opportunities for Gozitan families and businesses while also ensuring sustainability.

  • Modernising operations and boosting competitiveness within the Agriculture and Fisheries sector

Looking ahead, the Labour Party shared its intention in helping farmers (including livestock farmers) and fisherman modernise their operations, while also boosting their competitiveness.

“Being fully aware of the concerns of Maltese and European farmers about competition from third countries, we will ensure new EU agreements consider and analyse the sector’s socio-economic impact to avoid harming European production,” the party stated.

Moreover, the party committed itself to reduce further the administrative burdens and to safeguard fair and adequate conditions for Europeans.

  • ‘Well distributed and accessible funds’

Overall, the Labour Party emphasised that Malta would ensure well-distributed and accessible funds to all.

Therefore, it pledged to participate in all discussions concerning EU funds to maximise Malta’s potential in accessing, allocating, and utilising funds effectively.

Featured Image:

Robert Abela launches manifesto / Facebook 

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