What I Stand For

Politics needs to be about being of service to others. Persons who enter politics thinking that it is the means to be of service to oneself should really stay away from this field.I have always cherished this fundamental principle. I do that since I attach utmost importance to the values of honesty and loyalty. Without those values and without being able to remain in touch with my electorate, politics would have no meaning for me. That is the experience that I cherish most and that urges to remain offering to be of service to the country by representing the electorate of the ninth and tenth districts.

Foreign Policy

I have had the privilege of serving as the last Minister for Foreign and European Affairs during the Nationalist legislature of 2008 – 2013.

Before serving as Foreign Minister, I had the role of chairing our Parliament’s Foreign and European Affairs Committee has been another challenge in its own right.

Foreign policy does not simply relate to what is foreign and what is considered by some persons as pertaining to whatever relates to other countries and institutions. Foreign policy is as much about domestic, personal and national issues as any other area of government!

ICT

The Information Communications Technology sector has been one of the most interesting chal-lenges that I just enjoyed handling.

Think back to July 1990 and I was launching Malta’s first ever mobile phone. The incredible growth since then relates to providing the country with a digital platform, installing a fibre optic loop be-tween our telephone exchanges and linking our country with the outside world – again through fibre optic technology – and doing all that always with clear vision and determination.

Investment

Government does well to invest in various projects – that enhance our way of life and also create employment.

There is then the challenge of negotiating with and attracting the private sector to do its own investment in the country’s economy – either on its own or through the form of public private ventures. That means that Government provides the land at a reasonable rate of return, sets development parameters and then leaves the private sector to carry out the job and make the necessary investment.

Our Environment

The environment affects our way of life, our health, and our self-esteem.

What we do for the environment has an impact on our daily lives and is the path to safeguard the future.

When I was Minister responsible for the environment, I regularly engaged with NGOs that work within this sector since their contribution is truly invaluable. We also began to provide for sustainability structures where NGOs would have a direct input into formulation of national policies and action plans.

Tourism, Culture and the Arts

Tourism is one of Malta’s most important economic pillars. Moreover, money earned through tourism percolates to practically all sectors of the population. Francis Zammit Dimech managed in 2008 to achieve an absolute record in the number of tourists arriving in Malta.

That followed the introduction for the first time ever in our aviation history of low cost carriers – I had felt strongly that Malta could not be left out of this equation since one needs to bear in mind new travel trends and tourists’ own preferences when seeing to the needs of the tourism industry.

Working with Young People

I do not look upon young people as tomorrow’s leaders but as an integral part of what today is all about.

That is what I have always believed. When I set up a national youth movement (4Ts) at the age of 14, I would certainly not like it much simply to hear that I had a future ahead of me! What I really wanted to know was that what I was doing mattered for the present.