The Maltese press reports that Environmental NGOs have lost a 14-year legal battle over the 2006 building zones extension, referred to by the Government of the time as 'rationalization' of land.
I published the following peer-reviewed article in 2012 about this matter, in the International Journal of Green Economics:
Briguglio, Michael (2012). ‘ENGOs, EU accession and empowerment: the case of land rationalisation in Malta’, International Journal of Green Economics, 6: 3, 279-297
This paper analyses whether EU Accession has helped empower Maltese ENGOs, with specific reference to the land rationalisation issue between 2006 and 2010. This issue was characterised by the Maltese Government’s decision to extend development boundaries prior to the 2008 general elections. Malta’s environmental movement opposed this decision and lobbied at national and European levels. Even though the rationalisation issue became one of the most prominent environmental issues at the time, the environmental movement ultimately failed to change Government’s decision. This paper argues that, with respect to development of land, EU accession alone is not sufficient to empower ENGOs, as this process is mediated with other overdetermining factors.