Hu inkwetanti l-fatt li d-diskussjoni dwar il-governanza f’pajjiżna spiċċat iddominata minn interventi barranin ta’ nies b’aġendi opaki u dubbjużi.

Għax kien hemm u għad hemm bżonn ta’ diskussjoni nazzjonali dwar kif nistgħu ntejbu l-prattiċi tat-tmexxija publika fil-pajjiż. Forsi se jintqal li dil-biċċa tkun tista’ ssir waqt il-konsultazzjoni li qed titħejja għal bidliet fil-kostituzzjoni. Jista’ jiġri hekk, għadilli jien wieħed minn dawk li m’inix konvint li l-kostituzzjoni teħtieġ xi ristrutturar qawwi. Aktar jeħtieġ nibdlu l-modi kif inħaddmu l-kostituzzjoni.

Imma lil hinn minnha, il-governanza f’sens prattiku tal-kelma jeħtiġilha diskussjoni għaliha. Sa fejn għandha titwassal it-trasparenza u kif għandha titħaddem? Il-kontabilità? Ir-responsabbiltà amministrattiva u politika? U dan kollu mingħajr ma tiġi affettwata l-effiċjenza jew jiġi paralizzat is-servizz publiku …

Kif għandu jitqies il-konflitt ta’ interess – fil-qafas ta’ soċjetà ċkejkna ħafna bħal ma hi tagħna? X’inhuma l-mezzi li jistgħu tassew jikkombattu l-korruzzjoni?

Fi kwalunkwe diskussjoni bħal din, wieħed ikollu joqgħod b’seba’ għajnejn kontra r-rieda ħażina u l-biża’ mill-ġdid.

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F’AACHEN

It-trattat li għadhom kemm iffirmaw Franza u l-Ġermanja biex isaħħu l-ħbiberija u l-koperazzjoni bejniethom ftit għandu miżuri ġodda u konkreti, anke jekk intqal li se jagħti rankatura akbar lill-ħidma militari li ż-żewġ naħat iridu jmexxu flimkien. It-trattat iġedded ieħor li kienu ffirmaw fis-snin sittin tas-seklu għoxrin.

Biss qamet konsegwenza li ma naħsibx kienet mistennija. Numru sostanzjali ta’ Ewropej xejn ma għoġbithom l-idea li l-aqwa żewġ stati fl-Unjoni Ewropea jiftehmu bejniethom permezz ta’ trattat. Donnu li għalihom dil-ħaġa m’għadhiex familjari, m’għandhiex issir.

Raw it-trattat bħala ftehim maħsub biex bejniethom it-tnejn jaqblu minnn qabel dwar kif jirranġaw l-affarijiet fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Imbagħad il-bqija tal-membri jkollhom isegwu fil-passi tagħhom.

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OECD

Sal-lum, ir-raġuni għadha mhix ċara f’moħħi għala Malta baqgħet mhijiex membru tal-OECD, l-Organizzazzjoni għall-Koperazzjoni Ekonomika u l-Iżvilupp imwaqqfa snin twal ilu biex twettaq dak li jgħid isimha. Bdiet l-aktar bħala għaqda bejn stati Ewropej b’ekonomiji bbażati fuq is-suq ħieles; illum titqies bħala għaqda dinjija.

L-amministrazzjoni ta’ Borg Olivier ftit wara l-Indipendenza – jekk qed niftakar tajjeb – kienet applikat biex tidħol fl-OECD. Imma l-biċċa jew twaqqfet jew qatt ma mxiet ’il quddiem. L-amministrazzjonijiet ta’ wara ma wrew l-ebda ħajra għal sħubija. Fl-1997, kont ipprovajt niftaħ it-tieqa u anke żort l-uffiċċju ċentrali tal-Organizzazzjoni biex nistabbilixxi kuntatt. Matul is-snin ta’ wara, fejn konna bqajna.

Naraha ħasra. Kważi l-membri kollha tal-Unjoni Ewropea jqisuha bħala xi ħaġa utli li jaħdmu fi ħdan l-OECD. X’jistgħu jkunu r-raġunijiet li s-sħubija fiha ma tgħoddx għal Malta?

English Version – Governance

It is disturbing to note how the discussion about governance in Malta has come to be dominated by outside interventions made by people with opaque and suspicious agendas.

For there has been and there remains a need for a national discussion regarding how we should improve the practice of public administration. One could perhaps say that this issue should be tackled during the upcoming consultations being organised about changes to the constitution. That might be the case, even if I am one of those who are not convinced that the constitution requires any radical restructuring. What we really should do is change the methods by which we apply it.

Beyond this though, governance in the practical sense of the word needs a separate dscussion. Up to which point should transparency be taken and how should it be made to work? Ditto for accountability, as well as administrative and political responsibility… And all this without undermining efficiency or paralysing the public administration…

How should conflicts of interest be assessed – in the framework of a very small societysuch as ours? What tools exist that can truly combat corruption?

In any such discussion, one has to be extremely wary of bad faith and a fear of the new.

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At Aachen

The treaty that France and Germany signed recently to reinforce friendship and cooperation between them has few new and concrete measures, even if it has been said that it will give a greater impetus to the joint military programmes which the two sides would like to carry out. The treaty carries over from the first one that they had signed in the 1960s.

However with the signing of the treaty, there has been a consequence that I guess was not foreseen. A substantial number of European citizens did not at all like the idea of the EU’s two largest states coming to an agreement by way of a treaty. They apparently find such an arrangement unfamiliar, one that should not have been attempted.

The treaty has been seen as intended to first establish the agreement of both sides on how to regulate EU affairs, so that then the remaining members will just have to follow in their footsteps.

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OECD

As of now, I still do not understand the reason why Malta has not yet become a member of the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, set up long years ago to carry out what its title indicates. It started as an institution mainly for European states with market economies; today it is considered as a global player.

If my memory serves me right, soon after Independence the Borg Olivier administration applied to join the OECD. But either the initiative was aborted or it got permanently shelved. Succeeding administrations showed no interest in OECD membership. In 1997, I tried to open a windw and even visited the Organization’s headquarters to establish contact. In the years that followed, there was again no progress.

I think that’s a pity. Almost all members of the EU consider it useful to participate in OECD activities. What can the reasons be that make a similar conclusion inapplicable to Malta?