The European project – as the EU is often called – is about so many things. Peace, prosperity, freedom of movement, education and, of course, business. With elections for the EU’s new European Parliament Members (MEPs) taking place in May, many argue that this vote could change a lot. But what exactly should the Maltese business community expect from them?
“As always since we joined the EU in 2004, the upcoming cycle of MEP elections will determine which individuals will represent Malta’s interests in the European Parliament for the next five-year period,” explains Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry Director General Kevin J. Borg. “This is nothing short of an opportunity to choose representatives who are best suited to put Malta’s economic and social well-being on the European agenda.”
Mr Borg highlights how Malta’s current economic boom is well-recorded and acknowledged by all. “The recent growth in economic activity has been the result of various factors; not least the assiduous and courageous appetite for investment characterising our entrepreneurs. The inference is therefore very simple: Malta has a lot at stake, and a lot to defend. We are entering this cycle forming part of the elite performers among our European peers, and this means that eyes are locking onto us.”
Mr Borg stresses that businesses depend on a serene, stable and predictable environment that is conducive to investment. “We must ensure, at all times, that we maintain this environment,” he says. “We operate in a globally-connected scenario and the world is watching. Anything we do and say is likely to be picked up and will raise our country’s profile in the global stage or be used to hurt Malta’s reputation with the obvious negative repercussions.
“Consequently, we reiterate our call for a campaign wherein prospective candidates are constructive in their approach, respect the intelligence of the electorate and are proactive in their ideas about how they can make a difference in the European Parliament for their Maltese constituents. Elections should be won on trust rather than mistrust, and the Maltese electorate must vote for what they want rather than for what they don’t. The Chamber, therefore, expects constructive, concrete and plausible ideas for the electorate to consider, judge and vote for.”
“It is crucial for all involved to keep in mind what the aim of the game ultimately is. The question we want to see taking centre-stage is ‘how can we contribute towards a better EU’? And how can we make a difference and addresses the challenges currently being faced by the political block?”
This interview is part of a feature that appeared in The Commercial Courier