Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant said the May European Elections must ensure the best levels of social protection in terms of quality of life and wellbeing across Europe. The implementation of social policies across Europe should remain in large part a matter for national authorities to determine the when and the how, in response to changing economic and social requirements within their communities.
Dr Sant, speaking at a social activity in Rabat organised by Dominic Grech, IDEAT Chairman and prospective candidate for the Siggiewi Local Council, said decisions in the eurozone placed the social burdens of economic strategies on workers and the least well off, thereby flagrantly contradicting what used to be considered as the European social model.
“National governments across the EU must strengthen labour laws and social security, education and pensions. The reality is that the principles guiding economic management in the EU are, as a matter of policy, constrained by neo-liberal perspectives. Great disparities persist between the North and South of Europe.”
The Maltese MEP said Europe must ensure that its commitment to a European pillar of social rights is long-lasting. Compared to the rest of the world, Europe has the best levels of social protection and ranks highly in terms of quality of life and wellbeing. However, it faces a wide range of challenges: The effects of the economic crisis are still deeply felt in many member states and, even though things have already improved in many countries, great disparities remain within the EU. Unemployment rates are decreasing overall but vary strongly among EU countries.

Maltese Version – L-ELEZZJONIJIET EWROPEJ GĦANDHOM JIŻGURAW L-AQWA LIVELLI TA’ ĦARSIEN SOĊJALI

Alfred Sant qal li l-elezzjonijiet Ewropej ta’ Mejju jridu jiżguraw li jkun hemm Parlament Ewropew li jħares l-aħjar livelli ta’ protezzjoni soċjali f’termini ta’ kwalita` tal-ħajja tal-individwi fl-Ewropa kollha. L-implimentazzjoni tal-politika soċjali fl-Ewropa għandha, fil-parti l-kbira tagħha, tibqa’ f’idejn l-awtoritajiet nazzjonali li għandhom jiddeterminaw l-meta u l-kif għandhom jirrispondu għat-tibdiliet ekonomiċi u għal bżonnijiet soċjali fi ħdan il-komunitajiet tagħhom.
Alfred Sant, li tkellem f’attivita` soċjali fir-Rabat, organizzata minn Dominic Grech, Chairperson ta’ IDEAT u kandidat prospettiv għal Kunsill Lokali tas-Siġġiewi, qal li d-deċiżjonijiet li ttieħdu fiż-żona ewro tefgħu l-piżijiet fuq il-ħaddiema u dawk li ma tantx jifilħu finanzjarjament.
“Dan jikkontradixxi bil-kbir il-mudell soċjali Ewropew. Il-gvernijiet nazzjonali fl-UE għandhom isaħħu l-liġijiet tal-qasam tax-xogħol u s-sigurta` soċjali, l-edukazzjoni u l-pensjonijiet. Ir-realta` hi li l-prinċipji li qed imexxu l-andament ekonomiku fl-UE huma, fl-essenza tal-politika tagħhom, neo-liberali. Differenzi kbar baqgħu jippersistu bejn in-Nord u s-Sud tal-Ewropa.”
Alfred Sant qal li l-Ewropa għandha tiżgura li l-impenn tagħha favur id-drittijiet soċjali jkun dejjiemi. Meta kkomparata mal-kumplament tad-dinja, l-Ewropa għandha l-aħjar livelli ta’ ħarsien soċjali u hija fuq quddiem f’termini ta’ kwalita` tal-ħajja. Iżda, qed ikollha taffaċċja firxa wiesa’ ta’ sfidi. L-effetti tal-kriżi ekonomika għadhom jinħassu sewwa f’ħafna stati membri u, anki jekk l-affarijiet diġa` tjiebu f’għadd ta’ pajjiżi, għadhom jippersistu differenzi kbar fi ħdan l-UE. Ir-rati tal-qgħad qed jonqsu b’mod ġenerali iżda n-numri jvarjaw ħafna fost l-istati membri.