We take the opportunity offered by the upcoming European Parliament (EP) elections to direct the spotlight onto the human rights dimension of Saturday’s voting. In this regard, a very active exercise of the right to political participation in Malta is positively noted. Yet despite such an enthusiastic approach to political participation, we question why the local EP campaigns almost totally failed to engage with any of the core values enshrined in the EU Treaties and the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. Such values include the rule of law, equality and non-discrimination, and democracy.
The EP elections should challenge us to evaluate the role we want to play as Maltese voters in the formulation of the EU’s identity as a promoter of fundamental values within and outside of the EU.
We should be asking how we can contribute to the creation of safer and more secure societies where all persons can live free and dignified lives. We should be discussing what role we want the EU to play in advocating for a more peaceful world. We should be wondering how we can best urge the EU to show more solidarity in picking up and rebuilding the tragic remains of shattered communities.
If we expect our governments and the EU to recognise our own human rights and those of other people, it is our duty to constantly put human rights on their agendas. We therefore strongly urge all voters to give human rights a central place in their exercise of Saturday’s vote.
The statement is available here (.pdf).