Friday, May 31, 2019

Feedback re Social Impact Assessment public consultation

Feedback re Social Impact Assessment Public Consutation

To Planning Authority, SIA Procedures Consultation -

I am pleased that my proposal to mainstream social impact assessments in PA procedures is being taken up.

A social impact assessment reviews the social effects of development and social change, both intended and not.

The International Association for Impact Assessment defines an SIA as the process of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions and any social change processes invoked by those interventions.

Such changes may range from natural disasters to population growth and from policy interventions to singular development projects. Consequently, SIAs investigate the effects on people’s everyday lives in terms of culture, politics, community, health, well-being, aspirations, needs, rights and responsibilities, to name a few.  They provide data for policymaking, which is based on evidence.

Social impacts under assessment should include all those things relevant to people’s everyday life. This may include one’s culture, community, political context, environment, health, well-being, personal and property rights as well as fears and aspirations.

Social impact assessments can help verify the consequences and impacts of development proposals in relation to the communities involved. Hence, a basic starting point for such assessments should be the compilation of a community profile. A social impact assessment that does not understand the society in question is practically worthless.

This can help bring about genuine processes of engagement between communities, developers and authorities as well as identify and implement mitigation measures and compensation mechanisms. As things stand in Malta, various developers do quite the opposite, often causing huge inconvenience to residents and leaving a mess behind in surrounding infrastructure.

Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments. The former refers to generalisable data especially through numbers, while the latter produce in-depth data on matters.

Research methods in SIAs may therefore include surveys of concerned populations who are asked questions on their perceptions of the change in question. Ethnographic methods may involve a deeper look into everyday practices of people, while elite interviews may verify the advice, concerns and interpretations of persons who are experts or who have experience in the respective field under analysis.

Methods may also involve the analysis of discourse on the subject in question, for example by looking at what is being pronounced in the public sphere, whether by the public, civil society, political actors, the media and the like.

SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders, ideally through mixed research methods.

Some other factors which should be included in social impact assessments include the consideration of reasonable alternatives to development proposals as well as comparative analysis of similar development proposals and related good or bad practices.

Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field.

Social impact assessments should not be one-off exercises which are rubber-stamped by authorities without any sense of critical engagement. To the contrary, they should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data.

Recommendations and mitigation measures could therefore be in place, and these would be based on social-scientific evidence.

It is also important that SIAs are peer-reviewed. This means that if a study is being carried out by a team of social scientists, this should be scrutinised by other independent social scientists. This could help identify shortcomings, conflicts and possible improvements to the same SIA.

As things stand, there are no national guidelines on the need for SIAs in Malta. The conducting of such studies on development projects is at the discretion of the Planning Authority.

When exceptionally carried out, they are one-off studies on major development projects. This effectively means that smaller-scale development projects with bigger cumulative impacts are not subjected to SIAs.

Such ongoing processes should also take account of changes in the social context in question, such as cumulative impacts of other developments. For example, a social impact assessment that focuses on one development but ignores another development in the region is not realistic.

If one looks at other policy interventions, SIAs are practically absent. Just to name a few: the dynamics of agriculture, the cost of living, social cohesion and integration, urbanisation, the commercialisation of public land.

Indeed, there are so many areas where SIAs could be introduced in Malta: government consultation on new legislation, proposals in the national budget, the adoption of EU directives, parliamentary committees and local councils are just some areas. For example, the latter could carry out SIAs to establish community profiles, cultural commonalities and differences, social needs, demographics, impacts of development and so forth.

The University of Malta and other educational institutions are currently producing graduates in different social sciences who are equipped to carry out SIAs and who are sensible to the need for evidence-based policymaking.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept – Michael Briguglio

Change does not happen unless people demand it. If we ever needed a reminder that we cannot afford to walk past standards that we should not accept, recent events in Malta have given us a multitude of such reminders - the murder of an immigrant, the assassination of a journalist and the mugging of an elderly couple in broad daylight. A society where inequality is growing and people are treated as human resources rather than human beings is not something we can just walk past and forget. How can we change? What can we do? These are questions I ask myself every day, and I am sure many of you do too.

My experience in civil society has taught me that it is not those in power who lay the foundations for meaningful change, but the people and communities who start the drive towards a better society. Time and time again, people in power have failed to do this. They have walked past and accepted lower standards than we deserve. My belief in the power of the voice of the people has informed my activism during the past 25 years, and it has led me to contest the European elections, because the European Parliament directly represents all European Union citizens and has made such change happen.

Everyone in our society deserves to live without fear, in a safe and just society where clean air and open public spaces are not an electoral promise but a basic reality. Those in power are walking past these standards every day. Political endeavour needs to happen both in Brussels and in Malta, putting the person at the centre, free from behind-the-scenes donors, to ensure the interests of all are honestly represented.

Rather than walking past these issues, I will do my utmost to listen to all the people in our communities: people of all ages, of different genders and sexualities, of all social classes and backgrounds, workers, the unemployed, those with precarious jobs, those experiencing poverty, illness, or loneliness.

Over the past year the PN has been on the ground like never before and has shaped a manifesto based on the aspirations, wishes and concerns of the people, speaking about a caring society and presenting concrete proposals on decent wages, quality education, public healthcare, environment, quality of life, human rights, governance and democracy.

On my part, I pledge to fight the real issues – to fight for clean air and sea, for green, open spaces, for climate justice, for the protection of our endangered biodiversity and ecosystems, to secure our children’s future, for social justice, for workers’ rights, for sustainability, for the dignity of the poorest and weakest in our communities, for the safety of those who seek protection and find themselves in danger. These issues need to be consistently integrated into the policy and legislation that shape our Union and our lives.

Our particular challenges and vulnerabilities as a small island state need to be understood and recognised in the EU, providing an opportunity for Maltese MEPs to become a European voice for small islands around the world, especially in the fight against environmental destruction and climate disaster.

 During these 25 years I have been active at the forefront of various successful campaigns, fighting for EU membership, defending agricultural land, striving to keep stipends in place, advocating for divorce and LGBTIQ rights, stopping unsustainable development proposals and organizing the biggest civil society demonstrations in recent Maltese history: the call to defend Żonqor and the call for justice for Daphne.

I have done this because I love my country, and I wish that all those who live in it experience a society which is truly democratic, inclusive, decent and kind. I believe in the European project, and wish to work so that it truly stands for social justice, environmental sustainability and democracy, leaving no one behind. We owe it to those who have suffered, or are suffering and humiliated among us.

The coming election will not change those who govern us, but our vote can surely send them a clear sign of the standards we want.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

71 proposals - Michael Briguglio

Politics should be the endeavour to build a  better society, a better environment, a better world. This requires action, policy making and implementation, where people and communities are prime protagonists. During the past 25 years I have always done my utmost to be active and constructive for change, and I wish that these elections prove to be an opportunity to continue this mission.

By now you are probably tired of freebies, electoral gimmicks and slogans which do not translate to concrete policy proposals. You may be asking if legislation on electoral finance and data protection is actually being observed. You may wish that the politicians asking for your vote are always active on the ground, or wondering whether their activism simply depends on electoral appointments.

Ultimately, it is you, the voter, who will decide who to vote for, and this is a right which no one can take away. My only suggestion, if I may, is to look at what the respective candidates and parties are actually offering you. To look at substance, not spin. To see who can best fight for your interests without being in anyone’s pockets.

As a candidate representing the Nationalist Party, I am committed to its electoral manifesto which was written and approved through the party’s democratic structures and which has clear commitments on identity, solidarity and wellbeing. It speaks about a society that cares and has concrete proposals on decent wages, quality education, public healthcare, environment, quality of life, migration, governance, human rights and democracy.

I have also published my own pledges and commitments based on my experience as sociologist, local councillor and activist who believes in policy making based on evidence, on-the-ground consultation, social justice and environmental sustainability. My flagship commitments include:

·       To remain free from behind-the-scenes donors.

·       To voice concerns of people of all ages - children, youth & elderly - and all genders. 

·       Better monitoring and action against precarious work including through an EU online portal that registers jobs in all EU countries to ensure they comply with national legislation.

·       Environmental Impact Assessments should take account of cumulative impacts on localities.

·       Climate action must be mainstreamed in all aspects of policy making.

·       Stepping up the monitoring of environmental directives.

·       A shift to cleaner transport.

·       The EU must acknowledge the economic vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities of small islands. I will work to ensure that the realities of industry in small islands are accounted for.

·       Stronger workers’ and pensioners’ rights across the bloc.

·       The declaration of a European Day for Grandparents to enhance appreciation for their work.

You may read my 71 pledges and commitments through the following link:

During these 25 years I have been a key activist in various successful campaigns: EU membership, defending agricultural land from unsustainable development, keeping stipends in place, the introduction of divorce and LGBTIQ rights, stopping various unsustainable development proposals and organizing the biggest civil society demonstrations in recent Maltese history: the call to defend Żonqor from development and the call for justice following Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

If elected in the European Parliament I promise to keep this activism alive and act as a bridge between the people and the European institutions. The choice is yours.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

71 proposta - Michael Briguglio

Jien nemmen li l-politika hija l-ħidma biex nibnu soċjetà aħjar, ambjent aħjar, Ewropa aħjar, dinja aħjar. Il-bidla għall-aħjar ma sseħħx għax jiddeċiedu xi kbarat, iżda tibda min-nies u mill-komunitajiet. Jien dejjem emmint dan bis-sħiħ u huwa għalhekk li dejjem għamilt l-almu tiegħi biex inkun attiv u kostruttiv fis-soċjetà ċivili u l-politika matul dawn l-aħħar 25 sena. Nixtieq li dawn l-elezzjonijiet ikunu opportunità biex titkompla din il-ħidma li għandha tirfed kull sforz jew kampanja politika.

Sfortunatament, sa issa x’aktarx xbajtu bir-rigali, ix-xinxilli elettorali u s-slogans li ma jissarrfux fi proposti konkreti ta’ politika. Jista’ jkun li qed tistaqsu jekk il-liġi dwar il-finanzjament elettorali u l-protezzjoni tad-data hijiex fil-fatt qed titħares. Jista’ jkun tixtiequ li l-politiċi li qed jitolbu l-vot tagħkom ikunu dejjem attivi fuq livell lokali, jew qed tistaqsu jekk l-attiviżmu tagħhom jiddependix sempliċiment fuq il-ħatriet elettorali.

Fl-aħħar mill-aħħar, inti, il-votant, ser tiddeċiedi lil min se tivvota, u dan hu dritt li ħadd ma jista’ jeħodulek. L-uniku suġġeriment tiegħi, jekk tippermettili, huwa li tħares lejn dak li l-kandidati u l-partiti rispettivi qiegħdin joffrulek fil-fatt. Li tħares lejn is-sustanza, mhux lejn il-propaganda. Li tqis min jista’ jiġġieled għall-interessi tiegħek bl-aħjar mod mingħajr ma jkun fil-but ta’ ħadd.

Bħala kandidat f’isem il-Partit Nazzjonalista, jien kburi li jien kommess mal-manifest elettorali tiegħu li tfassal u ġie approvat permezz tal-istrutturi demokratiċi tal-partit u li jieħu impenji ċari b’rabta mal-identità, is-solidarjetà u l-ġid tas-soċjetà. Jitkellem dwar soċjetà li jimpurtaha u jagħmel proposti konkreti dwar pagi deċenti, edukazzjoni ta’ kwalità, il-kura tas-saħħa pubblika, l-ambjent, il-kwalità tal-ħajja, il-migrazzjoni, il-governanza, id-drittijiet tal-bniedem u d-demokrazija.

Ippubblikajt ukoll il-wegħdiet u l-impenji tiegħi msejsin fuq l-esperjenza tiegħi bħala soċjologu, kunsillier lokali u attivist li jemmen fi tfassil ta’ politika bbażat fuq l-evidenza, konsultazzjoni fuq livell lokali, il-ġustizzja soċjali u s-sostenibbiltà ambjentali. Fost l-impenji ewlenin tiegħi hemm dawn li ġejjin:

·       Li nibqa’ ħieles minn donaturi minn wara l-kwinti.

·       Li nleħħen it-tħassib ta’ persuni ta’ kull età – tfal, żgħażagħ u anzjani – u ta’ kull ġeneru.

·       Monitoraġġ u azzjoni aħjar kontra x-xogħol prekarju inkluż permezz ta’ portal online tal-UE li jirreġistra l-impjiegi fil-pajjiżi kollha tal-UE biex jiġi żgurat li jħarsu l-leġiżlazzjoni nazzjonali.

·       Il-Valutazzjonijiet tal-Impatt Ambjentali għandhom iqisu l-impatti kumulattivi fuq il-lokalitajiet.

·       L-azzjoni klimatika għandha tiġi integrata fl-aspetti kollha tat-tfassil tal-politika.

·       Jiżdied il-monitoraġġ tad-direttivi ambjentali.

·       Bidla għal trasport aktar nadif.

·       L-UE għandha tagħraf id-dgħufijiet, ir-riskji u l-opportunitajiet ekonomiċi tal-gżejjer żgħar. Ser naħdem biex niżgura li jitqiesu r-realtajiet tal-industrija fil-gżejjer żgħar.

·       Drittijiet aktar b’saħħithom għall-ħaddiema u l-pensjonanti madwar l-Unjoni.

·       Id-dikjarazzjoni ta’ Jum Ewropew għan-Nanniet biex jiżdied l-apprezzament għal ħidmiethom.

Tista' taqra il-71 wiegħda u impenn tiegħi f’din il-ħolqa

Matul dawn il-25 sena ta' impenn kont attivist ewlieni f’bosta kampanji li rnexxew: is-sħubija fl-Unjoni Ewropea, il-ħarsien ta’ art agrikola minn żvilupp mhux sostenibbli, il-ħarsien tal-istipendji, l-introduzzjoni tad-divorzju u d-drittijiet LGBTIQ, il-waqfien ta’ bosta proposti ta’ żvilupp mhux sostenibbli u l-organizzazzjoni tal-ikbar protesti tas-soċjetà ċivili fl-istorja reċenti ta’ Malta: is-sejħa biex iż-Żonqor jitħares mill-iżvilupp u s-sejħa għall-ġustizzja wara l-qtil ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Jekk niġi elett fil-Parlament Ewropew inwiegħed li nżomm dan l-attiviżmu ħaj u nkun pont bejn in-nies u l-istituzzjonijiet Ewropej. L-għażla f’idejk.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Inwiegħed li nkun leħnek – Michael Briguglio

Il-Parlament Ewropew huwa l-istituzzjoni li tirrappreżenta direttament liċ-ċittadini tal-Unjoni Ewropea, li jtellgħu l-membri tagħha. Huwa faċli li ninsew li dan hu l-punt ewlieni ta’ dawn l-elezzjonijiet, qalb l-istorbju ta’ din il-kampanja twila. Huwa biss meta kull persuna li tgħix fl-UE tkun tassew qiegħda tinstema’ li l-Parlament Ewropew ikun qiegħed jaqdi l-iskop tiegħu.

Bħala kandidat għall-Parlament Ewropew, inwiegħed li ser nagħmel l-almu tiegħi, kif ilni nagħmel għal dawn l-aħħar 25 sena, biex nisma’ lin-nies kollha fil-komunitajiet tagħna: iż-żgħażagħ, l-adulti u l-pensjonanti, in-nies ta’ ġeneri u sesswalitajiet differenti, nies ta’ kull klassi soċjali u ambjent, il-ħaddiema, in-nies qiegħda, dawk b’xogħlijiet prekarji, dawk li għaddejjin minn faqar, mard, solitudni u sfidi oħrajn. Inwiegħed li ser insejjes il-ħidma tiegħi bħala membru tal-Parlament Ewropew fuq l-evidenza li niġbor mis-soċjetà, Bħala soċjologu u attivist għandi l-għodda kollha meħtieġa biex nagħmel dan.

Inwiegħed li niġġieled il-problemi reali – niġġieled għal arja u baħar nodfa, għal spazji miftuħa fin-natura, għall-ġustizzja klimatika, għall-ħarsien tal-bijodiversità u l-ekosistemi mhedda tagħna, għall-ħarsien tal-ġejjieni tat-tfal tagħna, għall-ġustizzja soċjali, għad-drittijiet tal-ħaddiema u s-sostenibbiltà, għad-dinjità tal-ifqar u l-aktar dgħajfa fil-komunitajiet tagħna, għas-sikurezza ta’ dawk li jfittxu protezzjoni u jsibu ruħhom fil-periklu. Inwiegħed li nkun il-leħen ta’ dawk li jixtiequ jilħqu l-aspirazzjonijiet tagħhom u li jixtiequ jaraw soċjetà tassew meritokratika lil hinn mill-piki tribali.

Inwiegħed li nistinka biex l-isfidi partikolari tagħna bħala stat li huwa gżira żgħira jinftiehmu u jiġu rikonoxxuti fl-UE, filwaqt li niżgura li Malta ssir leħen Ewropew għall-gżejjer żgħar madwar id-dinja.

Nista nagħmel dan biss billi nkun attiv kemm f’Malta, b’komunikazzjoni kontinwa man-nies kollha tal-komunitajiet tagħna, u fi Brussell, fejn ser inleħħen it-tħassib tiegħek, u niżgura li jitqies fil-proċess tat-tfassil ta’ liġijiet. Nista’ nagħmel dan biss jekk nibqa’, kif dejjem kont, ħieles minn donaturi minn wara l-kwinti.

Il-Parlament Ewropew huwa istituzzjoni mibnija fuq id-djalogu u l-kompromess, fuq l-għarfien li jeħtieġ li nisimgħu l-fehmiet tal-oħrajn b’moħħ miftuħ u b’rispett, filwaqt li bi ħsieb nibnu fuq dak li jgħaqqadna. Għal din ir-raġuni, inwiegħed li nkun il-kandidat għal dawk li jirriflettu u li jirrispettaw lill-oħrajn.

Kultant l-Unjoni Ewropea tidher qisha labirint burokratiku, mimlija difetti. Madankollu, fl-aħħar mill-aħħar l-Unjoni Ewropea hija qawwa għas-sewwa fid-dinja u f’ħajjitna, xi ħaġa li aħna l-Maltin iġġilidna għaliha b’tant passjoni 15-il sena ilu. Inwiegħed li naħdem bis-sħiħ biex dan it-tajjeb jinħass mill-persuni kollha minn kull ambjent, fosthom dawk li huma mwarrbin u minsijin. Inwiegħed li nitħabat sabiex l-Unjoni Ewropea tagħmel differenza f’ħajjitna lkoll.

Dan l-artiklu deher fil-Mument, 12 ta' Mejju 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

I pledge to be your voice – Michael Briguglio

The European Parliament is the institution which directly represents European Union citizens, who elect its members. It is easy to forget that this is the main point of these elections, amid the noise of this long campaign. It is only when all the people living in the EU are truly heard that the European Parliament serves its purpose.

As an MEP candidate I pledge I will do my utmost, as I have been doing for the past 25 years, to listen to all the people in our communities: young people, adults and pensioners, people of different genders and sexualities, people of all social classes and backgrounds, workers, the unemployed, those with precarious jobs, those experiencing poverty, illness, loneliness and other challenges. I promise to base my work as an MEP on the evidence I gather on the ground. As a sociologist and activist I am fully equipped to carry out this task.

I pledge to fight the real issues – to fight for clean air and sea, for green, open spaces, for climate justice, for the protection of our endangered biodiversity and ecosystems, to secure our children’s future, for social justice, for workers’ rights and sustainability, for the dignity of the poorest and weakest in our communities, for the safety of those who seek protection and find themselves in danger. I pledge to be the voice of those who wish to fulfil their aspirations and who wish to see a truly meritocratic society beyond tribal pettiness.

I pledge to strive so that our particular challenges as a small island state are understood and recognised in the EU, while ensuring Malta becomes a European voice for small islands around the world.  

I can only do this by staying active both in Malta, constantly communicating with all the people in our communities, and in Brussels, where I will voice your concerns, making sure they are taken into account in the law-making process. I can only do this if I remain, as I have always been, free from behind-the-scenes donors.

The European Parliament is an institution built on dialogue and compromise, on the understanding that we need to listen to other people’s views with openness and respect, thoughtfully building on what we have in common. For this reason, I promise to be the candidate for people who reflect and respect others.

The European Union might sometimes seem to be a bureaucratic maze, full of flaws. However, ultimately the European Union is a force for good in the world and in our lives, something we Maltese fought for so passionately 15 years ago. I pledge to work hard so that this good is felt by all people from all backgrounds, including those who are isolated and forgotten. I pledge to strive so that the European Union matters in all our lives.


Sunday, May 05, 2019

Always, not only at election time - Michael Briguglio

During this long European Parliament campaign, I continued my work in favour of the environment and social justice, as I have done over the past twenty-five years.

With regard to the environment, I wrote to the European Commission about the way in which the government is using our money to give land away cheaply to the powerful developers DB in Pembroke. Now that the Corinthia case has also come to light, and, as I have always done, and not only during election periods, I will keep being active so that our land is not lost. Malta is not for sale.

In the field of energy, I revealed how, despite all its pomp, the government denied Gozo access to European funds for clean energy, failing to apply for funds specifically meant for islands like Gozo.

With regard to social justice, I wrote to the European Commission about the unfairly high utility bills. It was a game of hide and seek with the Commission and the Maltese authorities, however a few days ago the Ombudsman told me he is ready to investigate the utility bills presented to him.

This is politics on the ground. Politics which is always near the people, and not only at election time.

As regards human rights, I wrote to the European Commission about the technology the government wants to use in order to have access to our private details. A case of 'Big brother is watching you'.

The Commission confirmed I was right and said that the government cannot just decide to deploy such technology without any consultation. It is for this reason that I am constantly asking the government to be transparent about this.

In the European Parliament I will increase such activism on behalf of Maltese and Gozitans of goodwill. Because I believe in a Europe that is near you, near small islands, and not a Europe of elites aloof from the people.

Dear reader, maybe you are fed up of politicians who are bought. Maybe you are fed up of seeing Malta be sold for peanuts for the benefit of the few. Maybe you are fed up of seeing some who are drowning in money while others barely cope. Maybe you are fed up of seeing a kingdom of concrete which is destroying our environment and heritage.

I am fed up of this too.

As I have always done, and not only at election time, I will keep speaking in favour of workers, pensioners, youth, businessmen, the middle class, civil servants, educators and all persons of goodwill.

I will keep speaking out for the environment and social justice. We will go on working together for our country.

Therefore, if you feel forgotten, you deserve a voice. I promise you that your voice will be heard, always, and not only at election time.

This article appears in Malta Today

Dejjem, mhux biss fi żmien l-elezzjoni – Michael Briguglio

F'din il-kampanja twila għall-Parlament Ewropew, komplejt bil-ħidma tiegħi favur l-ambjent u l-ġustizzja soċjali, bħal m’għamilt f’dawn l-aħħar ħamsa u għoxrin sena.

Dwar l-ambjent, ktibt lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea dwar il-mod kif il-gvern qiegħed juża flusna biex jagħti l-art bl-irħis lill-iżviluppaturi kbar tad-DB f’Pembroke. Issa faqqas ukoll il-każ Corinthia, u bħal ma dejjem għamilt, u mhux biss fi żmien l-elezzjoni, ser nibqa' attiv biex l-art tagħna ma tintilifx. Malta mhijiex għal bejgħ.

Dwar l-enerġija, żvelajt kif, minkejja l-pompa, il-gvern ċaħħad lil Għawdex minn fondi Ewropej għal enerġija nadifa, fejn lanqas biss indenja ruħu japplika għal fondi speċifiċi għal gżejjer bħal Għawdex.

Dwar il-ġustizzja soċjali, ktibt lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea dwar is-serq fil-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma. Logħba noli mal-Kummissjoni u l-awtoritajiet Maltin, iżda ftit tal-ġranet ilu l-Ombudsman qalli li lest jinvestiga l-kontijiet li tibagħtulu.

Din hija l-politika ‘on the ground’. Politika viċin in-nies dejjem, u mhux biss fi żmien l-elezzjoni.

Dwar id-drittijet tal-bniedem, ktibt lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea dwar it-teknoloġija li jrid juża l-Gvern biex ikollu dettalji privati tagħna. Każ ta’ ‘Big brother is watching you’.

Il-Kummissjoni tatni raġun u qalet li l-Gvern ma jistax jaqbad u jdaħħal din it-tip ta’ teknoloġija bl-addoċċ. Għalhekk qed niġri wara l-gvern biex ikun trasparenti.

Fil-Parlament Ewropew inżid dan it-tip ta’ attiviżmu f’isem il-Maltin u l-Għawdxin ta’ rieda tajba.  Għax jien nemmen f’Ewropa li hi viċin tiegħek, viċin il-gżejjer żgħar, u mhux Ewropa tal-elites maqtugħa min-nies.

Għażiż qarrej, forsi xbajt minn politika mixtrija. Forsi xbajt tara lil Malta tinbiegħ biċ-ċiċri biex igawdu l-ftit. Forsi xbajt tara lil min jgħum fil-liri filwaqt li oħrajn bilkemm ilaħħqu. Forsi xbajt tara saltna ta’ konkos li qed teqred l-ambjent u l-wirt tagħna.

Jien ukoll.

Bħal ma dejjem kont, u mhux biss fi żmien l-elezzjoni, ser nibqa’ nitkellem favur il-ħaddiema, il-pensjonanti, iż-żgħażagħ, in-negozjanti, il-klassi medja, l-uffiċjali taċ-ċivil, l-edukaturi u dawk kollha ta’ rieda tajba.

Ser nibqa’ nitkellem favur l-ambjent u l-ġustizzja soċjali.  Ser nibqgħu naħdmu flimkien għal pajjiżna.

Għalhekk, int li tħossok minsi jistħoqqlok vuċi. Inwiegħdek li l-vuċi tiegħek tinstema', dejjem, u mhux biss fl-elezzjoni.

Dan l-artiklu deher fil-Mument, 5 ta' Mejju 2019

Pledges and Proposals for MEP - Michael Briguglio

Wegħdiet u proposti għall-Parlament Ewropew - Michael Briguglio

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Filmat: Żgħażagħ 👍🇲🇹✊

F'dan il-vlog għal The Malta Independent nispjega kif beħsiebni nkun il-vuċi taż-żgħażagħ jekk niġi elett fil-parlament Ewropew.

Tista' tara l-filmat minn dan il-link:

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Grandparents' recognition - Michael Briguglio

Perhaps you are a grandparent. Or maybe an aunt or uncle. Maybe you are involved in care work for your grandchildren, nephews or nieces: emotional and ‘invisible’ work, which does not feature in gross domestic product statistics, but which is rich in social worth, trust and reciprocity. 
The former deals with the care, support and being mindful about other people’s needs, anxieties and feelings and emotions. The latter deals with work such as cooking, cleaning, feeding and washing that is vital in everyday life. 
Perhaps you are a grandparent who juggles family life with employment, or perhaps you experience loneliness in your everyday life. You may also be rich in social networks but have little access to your grandchildren despite your wish to be with them.
As a parent, sociologist and politician I recognise the immense contribution that grandparents give to their loved ones, and I feel more should be done to ensure the right to such access is enshrined in the policy process.  
I believe that the European Union should dedicate a day to grandparents, just as it does to other groups in society. Such a feat can help in raising awareness about the rights, responsibilities, needs and aspirations of grandparents. For they may vary in age, employment or retirement status, health, income, gender, family situation and other factors.
In this regard I also believe that more social-scientific studies are required to analyse the everyday life situations of grandparents. Different types of studies and research methods can be carried out, from macro statistical measurements to micro-analysis of real-life situations. 
Research questions could include: how many grandparents are there in Malta? What is their socio-economic and demographic background? How many persons have similar roles as that of grandparents? How many grandparents lack access to their grandchildren? What are the everyday lived experiences of grandparents? What are their aspirations, needs and challenges? How does grandparenting impact the family economy? 
Such studies can provide evidence for inclusive policymaking.
One area which deserves priority is the access of grandparents to their grandchildren and vice-versa. Such persons may be separated geographically and may have to adapt to their distant love. They may also be geographically close but are experiencing family challenges and boundaries despite their wishes. Maybe they need skills in coping and resilience to face their everyday situations. Incidentally, last year the European Court of Justice declared that the notion of rights of access refers not only to the rights of access of parents to their child, but also to the rights of access of other persons with whom it is important for the child to maintain a personal relationship, among others, the child’s grandparents. 
The court said that in order to avoid the adoption of conflicting measures by different courts, and in the best interests of the child, the same court – as a general rule, the court of the child’s habitual residence – should rule on rights of access.
There may also be persons who do not have grandchildren but would like to assist them – intergenerational community pro-jects may be beneficial in this regard. Local councils and voluntary organisations can be key social entrepreneurs for such purpose. Such practices can enhance inclusion, cohesion, safety and community bonds. 
Malta is lucky to have its own ‘Grandparents Malta’ voluntary organisation, which is raising awareness on the rights and needs of this broad social group. This organisation also organises various social and educational events which also double-up in creating and bonding social networks of persons who share similar concerns. 
Indeed, this is an area which is worthy of political consensus. Let us ensure that the rights, responsibilities, needs and aspirations of grandparents are recognised by society. 
This article appears in Times of Malta, May 1 2019