Peter Agius: A Good Reason To Vote – My Mission To Get The Best Opportunities For Malta

Peter Agius: A Good Reason To Vote – My Mission To Get The Best Opportunities For Malta

People need a good reason to vote, that’s always been clear. It may seem to some that the MEP elections is just another day of voting, but the EU can have a massive affect on the everyday lives of Maltese people. We can’t miss the opportunity to elect the best people to represent us in Brussels. We have just 6 of them, as opposed to 60 or 90 for other EU countries… so we really need to pick up the aces.

1.PN candidate against all the odds

I was still working in Brussels with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani when I accepted the call to run for MEP in September, leaving little room for political campaigning in Malta.

My friends told me ‘you don’t need this’ given that I am an established EU official. Those closest to me told me this is the worst time ever to be the foot soldier for the Nationalist Party, and yet, I felt this is the moment where my energy and experience are needed, to keep labour in check and to work towards results for Malta and the Maltese.

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2. So why I am running?

I’ve seen first hand how Europe can make a huge difference to sectors of society and am deeply concerned that we took a confrontational relationship with EU and are disregarding many opportunities passing by unnoticed.

My campaign looks to give people a good reason to vote. A reason that goes straight to the heart of their work, values, and everyday lives. I want to communicate this in a frank and direct style, no BS, no frills – but rife with researched ideas and substance.

I am building this campaign on 16 years experience in the EU institutions, and then applying that knowledge to my visits to businesses, workers and campuses all over the islands. From fields to factories to workshops, offices, student cafes and fishing trawlers, I met thousands of ambitious Maltese, Gozitans and Expats with a view to test my proposals to bring European solutions to local problems.

The amazing thing about this is that then I found a big big family ready to endorse my ideas and turn them into policies. That’s what I am doing within the Nationalist Party. My little seeds have found very fertile soil. With the party we presented 6 main proposals so far, from proposals to tap into EU direct funds for small businesses, to measures to strengthen public service, to concrete ways to promote the Maltese product.

This is an amazing opportunity that everyone should consider. The PN is sometimes seen as weak from the outside, but in reality it is a party open to ideas, open to input from all those of good will. It’s true that we need to improve, but I’d rather improve with the open minded than side with arrogant know-it-alls.

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3. An MEP can move mountains – We need the best 6

An MEP can move mountains if they can make the most out of the many opportunities available for the country.

Yes, laws can often be drawn up with other realities in mind beyond Malta, but it is up to us to mould EU laws that fit our country better. Like a glove which needs to fit our hands, not too tight.

This is why we need to make sure that we are putting the very best people in Brussels, who can push forward the issues facing our younger generations, workers, and business so we can truly take the next step forward.

4.‘Rebbiegha li jmiss’ – 7 results for Malta

I think former PN leader Eddie Fenech Adami best summed up Malta’s special experience in Europe by saying that our country had entered a ‘New Spring’ through EU membership.

Being part of the EU has certainly yielded its fruit, but more must be done to prolong this season of plenty, a key reason why my campaign motto is ‘Rebbiegha li jmiss’ or ‘The Next Spring’.

This is why I’ve outlined 7 results that we can achieve if I am elected as an MEP. By placing proper emphasis on EU funding, we can provide incredible opportunities to youths, the civil service, business, SMEs and our unique Maltese identity.

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5. Let’s treble our ambition on youth opportunities

Only 1 in 20 Maltese youths get to benefit from EU programmes right now. New EU money can treble our participation rate in work placements, traineeships, studies or volunteer experience abroad. Let us seize that opportunity! We need to invest in capacity building and awareness, an MEP can take that process by the hand with interventions from Brussels.

We are too small an island to restrict younger generations to the country, who need to be able to gather crucial experiences abroad to have an invaluable effect on Malta.

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6. Putting local farmers and fisherman at the forefront of the agenda

We are what we eat. Right now we import 70% of our food, while our own farmers go bankrupt. We cannot depend so heavily on foreign imports. What happens if there is a food crises abroad?

Since July last year, I have practically forced the serious issues facing farmers onto the national agenda, with Party Leader Adrian Delia and MEPs like Alfred Sant now making Maltese agriculture a key part of their politics.

I also lobbied the European Commission to properly address the concerns facing our fisherman, particularly when it comes to lampuki. This I did as a candidate… imagine as an MEP.

7. The union must respect the diversity of EU Member States

Malta is unique, we all know that. This is why we need a European Union that respects our country’s particular characteristics and become a platform for our culture, language and traditions.

There is really so much more we can do if by using the right approach and work together.

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8. My positive politics can help everyone

I’ve always believed that positive politics can make sure that everyone in society benefits, no matter where you come from or whom you vote for.

With the number of disenfranchised or floating voters only growing, I am certain that I can be a representative in the EU for the entire country.

The Labour Party, it seems, has taken note taking me to task on anything imaginable, with One TV even running a segment to mock my cooking abilities …which I’ll admit can improve.

To be honest, I don’t blame them feeling the heat when I am offering the kind of politics that can actually deliver clear solutions that truly affect the everyday lives of people in Malta.

At the end of it all, criticism is always healthy. It is the only way we can strive to go one step further and deliver better results for every person in the entire country.

I’ll be happy to chat on messenger or directly in public comments on FB page PeterAgiusMalta and instagram where you can also follow details on the 7 areas and respective results we can achieve together.


Published by LovinMalta here.

Pursuing the change she triggered – Peter Agius

Pursuing the change she triggered – Peter Agius

If you are Maltese or passionate about the country, then probably you will never forget where you were on that darkest of days, October 16, 2017, when right after 3pm the news spread that Daphne Caruana Galizia – Malta’s top investigative journalist, leader of opinions in her own right – had been brutally murdered in a car explosion not far from her home in Bidnija.

I remember October 16 as the day I got scolded by Antonio Tajani. I was in my office in Brussels when the news unfolded, and for the next two hours I stood there unable to believe what I was reading.

I continuously refreshed the online news websites, hoping that everyone was getting it wrong, and that, somehow, Daphne was still alive and would soon update her blog, which had by then a readership that dwarfs that of national newspapers.

Incredulous as I was, frozen on that keyboard, it did not cross my mind to inform my boss, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who was in his office a few steps away. It was a foreign MEP who gave him the news some time later and he quickly came to ask me why on earth I had left him in the dark.

Daphne’s murder was a wake-up call for Europe – that it cannot lower its guard on freedom of expression and media freedom.

Side-by-side with Tajani, in the weeks following her murder, we honoured Daphne Caruana Galizia in the proper way, the way she was not here on her motherland.

Tajani took Daphne’s murder personally.

As a journalist himself, he shared the outrage of the Maltese people and the deep sense of loss and anxiety for media freedom in Malta.

He wanted to be here with us on the day of the last farewell at the rotunda in Mosta. He proposed the naming of the main press room of the European Parliament, the heart of European democracy, in her honour. And on that occasion, in front of her family, he called Daphne a soldier of democracy, a warrior of freedom of expression.

It was not the only speech delivered in honour of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

As long as the government keeps sweeping candles and holding back a public inquiry, we are obliged to keep the heat on

He had opened the speech to the leaders of the European Council with a strong message calling on Maltese authorities to come to the end of this killing. On that day, migration, economy, Brexit, all came second-stage.

In the European Parliament it was clear that Europe cannot and must not tolerate such a murder.

Tajani and many others took it to task to lead a truly European response to this dark moment in modern European history.

The European Parliament has since put pressure on the European Commission with a resolution to protect investigative journalism. There are concrete measures in the pipeline to sustain investigative journalists seeking the truth and to push forward an anti-SLAPP EU Directive, to make sure that no Pilatus Bank, no corrupt politician and no criminal in hiding, would ever be able to silence investigative journalists with vexatious lawsuits.

In the next European Parliament we must pursue the change that she triggered.

I would have loved for this to be also a national agenda rather than just a European one, but as long as the government keeps sweeping candles and holding back a public inquiry, we are obliged to keep the heat on to reach to the masterminds of this affront to democracy.

Today, 19 months following that darkest day, we again commit our resolve to never forget what Daphne gave her life for and to pursue the change that she triggered. To never tire to seek the truth, no matter how difficult the task may seem.

Above all, we commit ourselves that we won’t stop before those behind Daphne’s murder are brought to justice.

We don’t only owe that to her and her family. We owe it to our children. We owe it to our national conscience.


Read the full article as published on Times of Malta here.

Maltese Beekeepers Are The Victims Of ‘Copy Paste’ EU Laws, Says MEP Candidate

Maltese Beekeepers Are The Victims Of ‘Copy Paste’ EU Laws, Says MEP Candidate

As a local NGO dedicated to relocating bee colonies out of urban areas raised concerns of starving bees, a number of people have turned their attention towards the bee situation on the Maltese Islands.

Local council candidate Sean Gauci quoted Albert Eistein, who once said that the human race would not survive for four years after bees go extinct. Another person quipped that bees would have more than enough flowers if there was one at every petrol station, making reference to the raging debate that has led up to yesterday’s publication of an updated fuel station policy.

However, PN MEP candidate Peter Agius reached out and told Lovin Malta exactly how difficult it has become for local beekeepers to work effectively with the funding they’re given

According to an EU Law which Agius claims was designed to suit the conditions in France and Poland, eligible beekeepers are given €125.95 per hive per year to support bee communities.

This comes with the condition that each box be moved to a different piece of agricultural land three times a year, for each of the three honey seasons in Malta.

This is where the issue sets in

While other EU countries have ample agricultural land to relocate these boxes, the Maltese Islands are quite limited in this sector, especially with the rise of urbanisation is recent years.

Since bees can travel an average of five kilometres, even with a limit of five boxes per hive, the boxes can still cover Malta and Gozo’s pollination needs “10 times over”. According to Aguis, this means that most beekeepers are ineligible for this subsidy.

How can this be rectified?

Agius argues that the EU law in question needs to be “adapted to our particular situation”, saying that “we must constantly adapt Union to Malta if we want to see its benefits trickling down to society”.

This could give local beekeepers the required funding to effectively pollinate our plants, produce honey, and, of course, feed our own indigenous species of honey bee, creatively called the Maltese Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Rutneri). Because yes, we apparently have our own species of honey bee.


Article published on LovinMalta here.