The 100 Ideas consultation process kickstarted by the Labour Party is an open exercise that revolves around ten political fora, covering all areas that affect our lives daily. Now is the time to move towards an economic model that focuses on sustainability in practice. This is what, together with Deputy Leader Daniel Micallef and Party President Ramona Attard, we want to achieve.
I will be cooradinating three fora that focus on the economic, environmental and health aspects. For the sake of our wellbeing, the recent pandemic has shown that these three should function in sync. We want proposals that address the country’s economy from an aspect that considers quality of life as the key measure of economic success.
Through the Ġid Li Jasal Għand Kulħadd (Distribution of wealth) forum we will focus on how we can attract sustainable economic niches and how our workers can be prepared for today’s and tomorrow’s job market. We need to review sectors that have successfully contributed to our economy, such as tourism, and see how we can continue to support quality tourism.
At the same time, we need to pay attention to important economic pillars that have been sidelined, such as farming and fisheries. We must think of policies that offer employment to young people. Farmers are key players to strengthen our country’s biodiversity. Together with them we must present proposals that encourage organic farming and lessen the use of harmful pesticides.
We need to focus on sustainability from an economic, environmental and climate perspective. The European Green Deal is an economic opportunity for Malta because it will give us the possibility to attract innovative industries that do not require vast areas of land for manufacturing space, thus creating new jobs. This is in line with the vision launched by Prime Minister Robert Abela, who confirmed our country’s commitment to be net carbon neutral by 2050. We need to invest much more in research and innovation, which are two other areas that we will focus on through 100 Ideas.
The environmental forum, L-Ambjent: Ġid Komuni (The Environment as Common Heritage), reflects our conviction that the environment has to be considered as our own collective Common Good. Transport is another economic sector that will be tackled, both economically and environmentally. We will focus on planning and how to respect the aesthetic aspect of our islands and infrastructure policies that also respect environmental protection. In addition, we need to discuss proposals that can ensure better air and water quality.
Climate change must be given the importance it deserves, in particular by focusing on transport methods that are less polluting, alternative means of mobility and proposals on afforestation and renewable energy. Properly planned policies in this regard can ensure healthy economies and environment and, above all, healthy citizens.
Protecting our health is essential to ensure good quality of life. The Saħħitna (Our Health) forum will focus on policies that push resilience, considering both the perspective of professionals and patients – no matter their age. We will discuss the health needs of seniors and children who have been chronically ill and are experiencing the trauma that ensues.
We need to focus on how technology can further strengthen our health services and research’s role in rare diseases. We will tackle obesity, sport and physical activity. All this links to mental health, which remains a priority.
A common issue for all European countries, but more prevalent in a small country like Malta, is access to medicines. We want to put forward proposals on alternative medicine that can offer relief for certain patients and the introduction of various services that can help different patients.
The basis that underlines the work in these three fora is sustainability. I want to make sure that we present proposals that can ensure a better quality of life for all citizens. I am convinced that these three policy fora, although distinct, will complement one other in ensuring a better quality of life, a healthy environment and a resilient economy.
If you would like to get in touch to offer your ideas, send an e-mail to email@example.com or send a message to the Labour Party’s Facebook page.