In May, European citizens showed that they desired a change in the direction of Europe. Perhaps, they also wanted this Parliament to give the signal for change. Nearly six months after the European elections, I ask: is the change that our constituents desired actually happening? I would say not. I expected to attend here clear debates about what the people of Europe are expecting. About where in recent years we made good decisions, and where we made mistakes in the management of the European Union and the Eurozone. I expected questions about how European unity is, for both good and bad, affecting the lives of the citizens who elected us, so that where change is needed, it is carried out. Instead, we went on with business-as-usual as before May. Few people in my country have understood the manoeuvres that led to the appointment of President of commissions, committees and delegations and whatever else. Few care. The arguments for more or less Europe leave citizens at a loss about what is creating economic stagnation and such high unemployment. We are not debating why the European social model is being dismantled, nor how we can develop a serious policy on immigration. That agenda has been hijacked by political extremes and the so-called populists. This is a huge failure. The challenges being faced by Europeans citizens will not be overcome with the technocratic jargon we listen to, as if we all were officials of the International Monetary Fund. Challenges will be overcome only as a result of straight political talk between the representatives of European citizens. This should include a deep discussion on whether the political structures built by our predecessors are adequately responding to the needs of Europeans.

Maltese Version

Sur President, f’Mejju, iċ-ċittadin Ewropew wera li jrid bidla fit-tmexxija tal-Ewropa. Forsi wkoll xtaq li s-sinjal għall-bidla jingħata minn dan il-Parlament. Kważi sitt xhur wara l-elezzjonijiet Ewropej, nistaqsi: il-bidla li l-kostitwenti tagħna riedu, qiegħda sseħħ? Ingħid li mhijiex.

Stennejt li jkollna dibattiti ċari dwar xi jridu l-popli Ewropej, dwar fejn, fl-aħħar snin, ittieħdu deċiżjonijiet tajba u fejn saru żbalji fit-tmexxija tal-Unjoni Ewropea u taż-żona euro. Stennejt mistoqsijiet dwar kif l-għaqda Ewropea qed taffettwa għat-tajjeb u għall-ħażin il-ħajja taċ-ċittadini li eleġġewna, ħalli fejn hemm x’jinbidel, jinbidel. Minflok, komplejna b’li kien qed isir hawn qabel Mejju.

Ftit f’pajjiżi fehmu l-maniġġi dwar min laħaq President ta’ Kummissjoni, ta’ kumitati, ta’ delegazzjonijiet u ma nafx x’aktar. Ftit jimportahom. L-argumenti favur aktar jew anqas Ewropa jħallu liċ-ċittadini fjakki minn għarfien ta’ x’inhu joħloq l-istaġnar ekonomiku u jġib daqstant nies qiegħda. M’aħniex niddiskutu għaliex il-mudell soċjali Ewropew qed jiżżarma u kif nistgħu nibnu politika serja dwar l-immigrazzjoni. Din l-aġenda ġiet ikkapparata mill-estremi politiċi, u mill-hekk imsejħa populisti. Dan hu żball kbir.

L-isfidi quddiem iċ-ċittadini Ewropej ma jingħelbux bid-diskorsi teknokratiċi li nisimgħu, qisna sirna funzjonarji tal-Fond Monetarju Internazzjonali. L-isfidi jingħelbu wara li jkun sar diskors politiku bla kantunieri, bejn rapprezentanti tal-popli Ewropej, inkluż li niddiskutu mill-qiegħ l-istrutturi politiċi li bnew ta’ qabilna jekk mhumiex iservu tajjeb lill-Ewropej.