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AD approves its European Election Manifesto & candidates

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AD approves its European Election Manifesto & candidatesToday, the Alternattiva Demokratika European Election Manifesto was approved during a meeting held in Valletta.

On Gozo, AD said in its Manifesto that it will push towards resurrecting the Eco-Ghawdex initiative among others, as one local interpretation of the Green New Deal to increase competitiveness and job creation in Gozo.

During the meeting AD also unanimously approved its Chairman, Prof. Arnold Cassola, along with its Deputy Chairman Carmel Cacopardo, as Alternattiva Demokratika’s candidates for the upcoming MEP elections in May.

The Election Manifesto is shown in full below:

“Europe is our common home and our future. Yet, that future is under threat. A neo-liberal approach and a politics of austerity has ruined the lives of millions and eroded our democratic fundamentals. If the EU’s achievements are to be preserved and enhanced, now is the time for a fundamental political reorientation and for a democratic renewal of the European Union.

To safeguard our common future we want to change Europe and to strengthen it. That is why we Greens stand for more solidarity, sustainability and justice. We need fair economic cooperation that respects our ecological responsibilities. We need solidarity within and between our nations. We need a strong democracy. We must live our values, upholding freedom and liberties domestically and internationally.

Europe is essential for building the more sustainable, democratic and equal society we are calling for. Think of it: taming the forces of financial markets and of global corporations, effectively fighting tax fraud and evasion, transforming Europe’s energy supply to combat runaway climate change. These are all examples of urgent actions that are beyond the capabilities of even the largest of our member states. We need collective cooperation within the EU to deal effectively with these issues.

As a member of the European Greens, Alternattiva Demokratika will focus on the issues outlined hereunder:

1.0 Democratisation of the European institutions:

1.1 AD will work towards a more direct and participative democracy. Executive bodies such as the European Commission and Central Bank must be held accountable for their actions.

1.2 AD will work towards an EU with an effective multi-level democracy, respecting subsidiarity and making its diversity one of its best assets.

1.3 AD will work towards the creation of more spaces for NGOs, trade unions and others within civil society. Such a voice is crucial in the development of democratic societies based on the principles of diversity and solidarity.

1.4 AD will work towards the creation of a Commissioner for Small Countries so that their peculiar situations have a critical voice in EU institutions and decisions.

2.0 Accountability & Transparency:

2.1 AD will insist on the strengthening of transparency, citizen participation and accountability as safeguards against corruption. As Greens we will keep working for increased transparency in the entire decision-making process from the Commission to all other EU-institutions to member state governments including Malta.

2.2 AD will work for the right of citizens to determine the future of the Union by increasing their choices throughout the lawmaking process, and even through the holding of popular referenda.

3.0 Climate change & alternative energy:

3.1 As reliable advocates of environmental responsibility, especially through the Green New Deal proposal, AD will insist on a European energy policy which will mitigate climate change through renewables and energy efficiency. AD will make sure that the Maltese government affords unwavering support towards a sustainable energy policy.

3.2 AD will sustain a strong stance against those who want to block the production of energy from sustainable sources.

3.3 AD will promote legislation that favours the use of clean transport and in particular incentives towards a reliable public transport system.

4.0 Jobs and the Green New Deal:

4.1 As part of the European Greens, AD proposes the Green New Deal as a new strategy in job creation. AD believes that we should unite our strengths in order to shape our own future. Instead of the socially deaf and environmentally blind economic austerity, we propose three coherent avenues to sustainability: fighting unemployment, poverty and all forms of social injustice

4.2 AD will work towards the transformation of our economies with innovation, community action and eco-efficient solutions to tackle climate change and environmental degradation.

4.3 AD will work towards re-regulating the financial industry so it serves the real economy.

4.4 AD will push towards resurrecting the Eco-Ghawdex initiative among others as one local interpretation of the Green New Deal to increase competitiveness and job creation in Gozo.

4.5 SMEs are pivotal in this scenario. AD will be on the forefront in ensuring that the one-size fits all philosophy is further dismantled so that more employment is created without unnecessary bureaucracy.

4.6 AD will work towards the affirmation of the Cooperative model as a means of providing a counter discourse to an economic model based on individual solutions.

5.0 Digital rights:

5.1 The Greens in the European Parliament are at the forefront of the fight for digital rights. Greens helped stop the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) and are fighting for strong protection of personal data, for the right to privacy and for strict net neutrality. AD will keep workingagainst the resurgence of such policies that rear their head from time to time.

5.2 AD will insist on a tangible and effective defense and protection of European citizens and the internet from pervasive corporate and governmental surveillance and to safeguard fundamental rights in the digital age. Personal data belongs to individual citizens, not to companies or governments. Privacy must be respected.

6.0 Migration:

AD in the European Parliament will be vociferous on the need to overhaul the EU’s migration policy.

6.1 Thousands of people transported by callous traffickers die on Europe’s external borders every year. AD will promote policies through which people can seek protection through means of legal entry into the EU for example through humanitarian visas.

6.2 AD will push for the establishment of an asylum system worthy of its name.

6.3 AD will keep working towards greater efforts by the EU as well as member states for further coordination of ‘rescues at sea’.

6.4 AD has successfully lobbied for the inclusion of a clause for the abolition of the Dublin II rules in the European Green Manifesto. These rules force refugees to stay in the EU country where they first applied for asylum, thus creating a disproportionate burden on countries like Malta. An AD Member of the European Parliament will keep working to convince the EPP and the PES who to date have only been sympathetic to Malta’s disproportionate challenges in this regard in principle, to accept the abolition of the Dublin II rules.

6.5 AD within the European Parliament will insist on adequate foreign relations as well as decent trade and development policies, that address the issues which force people to migrate.

7.0 Human Rights:

The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Greens do not compromise on human rights. Pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men must prevail.

7.1 AD will work towards the equal representation of women in local and EU institutions through affirmative action.

7.2 AD in the European Parliament will keep working to remove practices of discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and disability (among other grounds), where they still fester, both locally and on an EU level. We will make sure that such actions are effectively transposed in Maltese Law and put into effective practice.

7.3 AD will champion the Greens’ long-standing position for the extension of the Anti-Discrimination directives to become a fully-fledged Equalities Directive.

8.0 Solidarity not austerity:

8.1 AD will work against Neo-liberal deregulation that has created financial markets solely driven by short-term greed, resulting in the current global financial crisis. The crisis has threatened or destroyed many social, democratic and economic achievements. The medicine of austerity that has been prescribed to countries in crisis for several years now has increased social division and injustice, jeopardized the well-being of many of our fellow citizens, undermined the capacity of our societies to prosper, and crucially, weakened democracy. Today, 25% of Europeans are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 27 million are unemployed, including almost one in five young Europeans! The most fragile end up paying the heaviest price for the crisis.

8.1 Through its presence in the EU parliament, AD will make its voice heard on the unsustainability of our economic model that is perpetuating our own environmental crisis. AD will insist that short-termism and the narrow interests of lobbyists do not continue to prevail. AD will work to tame the local building frenzy brought about by such an economic model that ends up rewarding the few and punishing the rest.

9.0 Sustainability:

9.1 AD will work towards a discourse that places sustainability at the heart of every major economic decision both locally and in the EU.

9.2 AD, as part of the European Greens, proposes the creation of a World Environment Organisation by combining and expanding the role of the different disjointed agencies that already exist within the United Nations.

9.3 AD insists that we cannot measure the quality of life only in coarse monetary terms: we need new indicators to complement and extend the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of sustainable prosperity and well-being.

9.4 AD believes that the diverse natural environment in Europe is beautiful and has a value beyond money. As a Green Party, AD believes that sustainable development means managing natural resources wisely so that our children and our children’s children will still have a viable planet to live on. We want to reduce our ecological footprint and resource consumption and ensure that goods are fit for re-use, repair and recycling in place of the designed for-the-dump approach. AD in the European Parliament will make sure that management of Malta’s limited resources is given the priority it deserves especially in waste management, water use and land use and that Directives in this regard are adequately transposed.

9.5 AD in the European Parliament will make sure that the Maltese targets for renewable energy are adhered to and improved upon.

9.6 AD wants to see environmental and biodiversity protection given priority. AD will keep insisting on the respect for the spirit of the Birds Directive through the abolition of hunting in spring.

9.7 AD will work towards the reactivation of restrictions upon Genetically Modified Organisms (removed by ex-Commissioner John Dalli) to make sure that natural varieties that are the guarantee for food production and availability in particular are not contaminated, wiped out or controlled by multinational corporations.

10.0 A Strategy for the Central Mediterranean:

10.1 AD will insist on the implimentation of a strategy for the Mediterranean. After the EU has successfully started the implementation of a strategy for the Baltic and another one for the Danube it is time to implement a strategy for the Mediterranean. AD strongly believes that such a macro-strategy would give added value to EU policies and regional development initiatives. Both EU member states as well as non-EU member states can cooperate much more to ensure that the Central Mediterranean prospers economically, socially and environmentally.

11.0 Land and water Use:

11.1 An AD MEP would work to ensure that EU directives are enforced to ensure the protection of our water resources.

11.2 AD will also work to halt the illegal occupation of our coast and countryside, which are there to be enjoyed by the whole population. We will see to it that Armier and other illegal developments are dealt with according to the rule of law.

By electing Arnold Cassola or Carmel Cacopardo as an MEP, we Maltese will be achieving three objectives: we will be breaking once and for all the dualistic tribal mentality that has suffocated Maltese politics for the past 50 years; we will have more influence in Europe since the Maltese people will be represented for the first time in a third group -the Green Group- in the EP; we will have a proven guarantee of transparency, accountabilty and a reasonable voice for citizens and communities.”

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