Articles 2019-03-03T16:25:54+00:00

Connectivity requires long terms strategies

As the carnival fever hits our island, thousands of people are expected to cross between Malta & Gozo to participate in various events being organised across the coming days. However, are we capable to cope with the ever increasing number of people and cars crossing between Malta and Gozo?....Read More

Beating the storm

Record breaking wind speeds and heavy rainfall made headlines. Trees where pulled to the ground, fish sprung out of water into the streets and greenhouse sheds and equipment were severely damaged. Maltese farmers suffered a huge blow, losing their agricultural products, whilst some shepherds’ livestock went adrift. Gale force winds also reported damages to properties, businesses, vehicles as well as boats…..Read More

Erasmus +: Let’s triple the funds for a better future generation

Young people are not only an integral part of our society. They are also the generation of tomorrow, they are our future government, our future thinkers and innovators. In many ways they also represent the present and a most important element of that present. It goes without saying then, that we should provide them with opportunities that will render them success in their future endeavours…..Read More

Business not as usual

We are living in a consumerist society where with a click of a button, we can have everything we want delivered to our doorstep, from food, to clothes to appliances. You name it, you have it. Maltese business has flourished and grown, with several retail stores in which every person can surely find what he or she is looking for at any given time. …..Read More

Students with dyslexia can succeed. We need more resources and investment in teachers and LSAs.

I strongly believe that students with dyslexia can succeed in their education. To do so we need more resources for students to advance in education and invest more in the profession of teachers and LSAs to encourage more persons to pursue a career in supporting children with dyslexia so that they can advance. Yesterday I held a consultation meeting on dyslexia with various stakeholders including professionals at Europe House in Valletta…..Read More

More proposals to fight breast cancer

Breast cancer is among the most frequent cancers in Malta with 350 new cases each year. Thanks to Maltese professionals survival rates are as high as 87%. We must fight this disease in every possible way and this is why after consultation with professionals, NGOs, patients and other stakeholders, I am putting forward further proposals. I had the opportunity to experience the work done by these outstanding professionals during a visit at the Agatha Breast Unit where I also met the various professionals working in the unit…..Read More

Paving the way for a cancer-free future

Another World Cancer Day has come and gone, yet so many patients and relatives continue their fight against cancer. February 4th is not only a day for raising cancer awareness, prevention and cure, it goes beyond that. It represents the need for a holistic approach to cancer eradication within 20 years, an aim shared with my fellow colleagues in the European People’s Party. ....Read More

Fair remuneration for Maltese creators and artists

The political agreement reached this week on a new law will leave a positive impact on everybody who uses the internet and will ensure that creators and artists receive fair remuneration. This will enable them to continue offering us with content to enjoy. It will also offer new opportunities for young artists to grow and thrive online while safeguarding journalists jobs, as well as facilitating the life of teachers and researchers....Read More

Cancer screening acceptance rates need to be improved

We need to ensure that screening services are not only available but that their acceptance rates are also high. In this regard more awareness is necessary. MEP Francis Zammit Dimech made these remarks at the European Parliament during a debate with Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukatis on policy challenges and strategies against cancer in women......Read More

A new regulation to protect SMEs Customers to gain from wider choice and best deals online

Early on Thursday morning, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission reached political agreement on a new regulation ensuring fair and transparent online environment for businesses using online platforms to reach their customers…...Read More

Does the country need a new correctional facility?

Changing the current correctional facility or building a new one altogether will not necessarily address the administrative issues present at the Corradino Correctional Facility.One should not focus on whether it is essential to have another correctional facility. Rather, one should address the need of a prison reform policy, rebuild the current administrative system, plan specialised training for correctional officers and ensure that the time spent serving a sentence in prison adequately addresses the needs of inmates.....Read More

R&D: ensuring our future

Research and Development (R&D) is far from being just tests and experiments held in labs and in the field of science or medicine. It has become well understood that R&D is crucial to ensure a prosperous future in any industry or sector. This is because R&D and innovation play a vital role in providing scientific and technical solutions to meet challenges faced by our societies.....Read More

Eradicating cancer in 20 years

Cancer has a way of touching just about everyone, at a certain point in time, either directly or indirectly. Throughout my work I have witnessed how cancer has touched upon our family members, friends and people close to our hearts – who have either suffered from cancer or have passed away because of the disease…..Read More

Why only breathalyse motorists when there is ‘reasonable suspicion’​?

Another Christmas period has come and gone, and celebrations are over, fortunately with few road accidents. However, road accidents in general are on the rise.In April 2018, a local newspaper conducted a study on alcohol-related road accidents in Malta. The result was rather shocking: between 2014 and 2018 there have been 946 cases of drink-driving charges. Sadly, the police are not able to provide the specific number of fatalities linked to drinking and driving, but we know that an average of 16 people die on our roads every year....Read More

Invest in teaching profession before it is too late

Government needs to without further delay establish a national strategy to attract greater numbers of motivated candidates with a sound academic or professional background and pedagogical competencies to the teaching profession. Yesterday the Malta Union of Teachers issued a statement to express its concern on the absence of a national strategy to attract youth to the teaching profession....Read More

Parks not landfills

Travelling, and living in different countries has the advantage of giving one the opportunity to reflect on the positive and negative aspects one finds in his own homeland.  One of the requisites of an MEP is travelling back and forth to Brussels, and splitting the days between two countries.  That makes it easier to notice differences between one country and another. Some differences are purely geographical and natural. Others are the result of political decisions taken in the best interest of the citizens. The serious lack of parks in Malta...Read More

Nominated & shortlisted for an MEP award 2019

Barely a year and a half after being elected to serve at the European Parliament, I have been shortlisted for a prestigious MEP Award for my work in the field of Culture, Education and Media. Since the beginning of my mandate I have listened to people and worked to address their challenges. This shortlisting fills me with courage and determination to continue working to serve as the voice of the people at the European Parliament. I humbly thank all those supporting me throughout my work...Read More

Stress free when travelling out of the EU

Travelling at times may come with some unexpected and unpleasant surprises such as losing your passport. This is quite a headache especially when travelling out of the EU. New rules adopted by the European Parliament will make it easier and safer if you lose your passport, or if it is stolen or damaged when travelling outside of the EU. Thanks to new measures adopted it will be easier for you to acquire temporary documents from any EU Member State’s Consulate in a shorter period...Read More

Stepping up the fight against cancer

I can recount very few cases whereby the subject of cancer is not brought up during visits I make in various homes in Malta as part of my political work. In several instances the people I visit speak to me of their loved ones including family members or friends whom they lost because of cancer. Others share with me the realities being experienced when undergoing treatment. This is no surprise as in Malta there are over 2,000 ...Read More

Teachers deserve far better 

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well” – Alexander the Great. Educators provide society with the necessary skills, prepare us for our careers, and instil in us our moral and democratic values, all of which are so essential for a functioning society that upholds norms and values. To choose to be an educator is to dedicate your life to improve tomorrow’s generation, contributing to the general well-being and development of all society. It is therefore natural to expect that this contribution is reciprocated in the form of respect, particularly by those who are the direct recipients – the students. Regrettably, this does not happen to be the present situation in our country...Read More

Solidarity – a value that defines us

The journey to Europe is becoming more and more perilous. The hope for a better life and a brighter future, is oftentimes, the main reason that makes people undertake the hazardous boat journey across the Mediterranean sea. With hopes to embark in the European territories, people leave behind their homes and families in search for a better life, new possibilities and a better tomorrow...Read More

Supporting patients and their families in the battle against cancer

Currently in Malta there are 2,000 new cases of cancer and 900 deaths each year. Recent reports also state that the rate of cancer cases can increase to 49% by 2030 if we do not seek to find a solution. This is why I have decided to put cancer as one of issues at the forefront of my agenda at the European Parliament...Read More

Teachers deserve our respect

Teachers are important for us to develop our education further, besides our parents. We need to respect them as they are important for the development of generations to come to have a better future, to foster critical and creative thinking. Many teachers in the past two years ...Read More

Ensuring workers rights across the EU

We live in a world where people no longer stay in the same job or in the same country throughout their lives. The reality is that nowadays there are more and more people that live and work in another  EU Member State. The free movement of people, and more specifically the free movement of workers is an integral part of the EU’s ...Read More

Interview with Business Agenda

With the EP elections just around the corner, what would you consider your primary achievements to have been during this legislature, in relation to business? One accomplishment which I am very proud of is a new draft EU law which will ensure further opportunities for Maltese businesses. This law will allow for providers of online platforms and search engines to implement a set of measures in the contractual relations they have with online businesses...Read More

What a year!

A year has passed and I wish to share some thoughts with you regarding the political work that I have carried out in the European Parliament. One and a half years ago, at the beginning of my work at the European Parliament, I had decided that your voices should be heard and that has been my top priority since the beginning...Read More

2018 – My own recollections

The year 2018 has been special, full of new experiences. It has proven above anything else that hard work does in fact pay off. Being entrusted with the role of member of the European Parliament, I have come to realise that the amount of people you meet and the diversity encountered every day through my work is astounding. ....Read More

Thank God it’s Christmas

It’s that time of the year once again. Once December approaches, a new kind of atmosphere starts taking over. “We are witnessing a strong campaign to stop saying ‘Merry Christmas’ and to replace it with ‘Happy Holidays’. The focus has shifted from the effigy of baby Jesus to the figure of Santa Claus, from the Midnight Mass to the annual holiday...Read More

2018: 10 questions with Lovin Malta.

1. What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Harari’s “21 Lessons for the 21stCentury”.  I had already read his former two books. ‘Homo Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’ which means I could enjoy the book in the context of his former works. I think it is a must read especially for all people in public office!  A close second would be Francis Fukuyama’s new book “Identity – Contemporary Identity Politics and the Struggle for Recognition.”

2. What’s the best film you’ve watched this year?

The Shape of Water”.  Sally Hawkins gives a brilliant interpretation of a mute isolated woman working in a high security government laboratory. Top credit also goes to director Guillermo Del Toro who deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Director.

3. What’s the best TV show you’ve watched this year?

I am not much into watching TV shows in view of present commitments, but over the past months I made some time to watch the BBC Series ‘The Bodyguard’ depicting the story of a war veteran who is assigned to protect the UK Home Secretary. Although it is all fiction, the show does not fail to be very realistic and relevant to contemporary political themes.  I watched all six episodes over a few days !

4. What’s your favourite international song of the year?

Over the past year, I had the opportunity to follow a concert by Placido Domingo who came over to an event at the European Parliament to lobby in favour of artists’ rights.  He interpreted such classics as ‘Nessun Dorma’ from the Opera ‘Turandot’.  Hardly a new release, but it remains one of my favourites for all time and listening to Placido’s interpretation re-affirmed my love for the song.  That is apart from relating to the main theme in that song: ‘Vincero’’!

5. What’s your favourite Maltese song/artist/band of the year?

My favourite Maltese artist remains Joseph Calleja.  I have followed his Concerts in Malta over the years and from time to time had the privilege to follow him abroad and feel proud to be Maltese as he receives one warm applause after another by the most discerning of audiences.  I have already booked for his August 2019 Concert when he will be performing together with Andrea Bocelli. In the meantime I highly recommend his new CD interpreting arias by Verdi.

6. What’s your favourite Maltese restaurant of the year?

San Giuliano.  The quality of the food remains consistent and impeccable. That is apart from the warmth and good cheer of the staff, not least Marlene.

7. What was your best moment this year?

Managing to beat the time limit which I had reached the year before – as I completed for the second year the Half Marathon. Well, in my case, I should call it the Walkathon since I walk the 21km from Mdina to Sliema – but not run it! I was most happy to manage it again and in less time than in the previous year.  Already training to do my third in the new year.

8. What was your worst moment this year?

Being denied access to my own hotel in Strasbourg when the terrorist shooting incident broke out …. And of course I realised that I was standing at a barrier less than a hundred metres away from where the scene of the attack.

9. Who would you recommend following on Instagram next year?

I would definitely recommend Kurt Arrigo.  His breath taking shots of our country – be it from the air, on land, and from the sea are the perfect recipe for lovin’ Malta (pun intended!) and appreciating what our country has to offer and what we need to safeguard!

10. Who is your favourite Maltese personality of 2018?

I believe that our President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has stood out in her unfailing determination to support the most vulnerable and needy in our society. It was a great privilege for me to co-ordinate directly with her how Malta’s voluntary cancer NGOs can through one platform become members of the European Cancer League, and to set up a meeting in Brussels for that purpose at the President’s own request after I had met her about the subject.

The future of our economy depends on our people

Working life is becoming more and more complex. The use of technology in the workplace is no longer an innovative luxury, it is rather a necessity. Electronics and technology is everywhere today: in the cars, at the office, at home. We are conscious that new technologies are constantly impacting our workplace environments....Read More

The true cost of corruption

Warning of ‘digital extinction’ of the Maltese language, Nationalist MEP Francis Zammit Dimech is calling on small states to prioritise language technology. “It is our [policymakers’] responsibility to ensure the Maltese language is well integrated and used within the digital sphere, including on digital platforms and through digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa,” Dr Zammit Dimech said...Read More

Living with Dyslexia

Imagine being very intelligent but having difficulty in reading fluently and spelling words correctly. This condition is known as dyslexia.  People with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters ...Read More

Geo-blocking banned: What does it mean for Maltese online shoppers?

Christmas shopping has never been more open after a new regulation adopted by the EU Commission bans geo-blocking. Were you ever shopping online and got redirected to your national website upon hitting the “buy” button? This event is called Geo-blocking, a discriminatory practice that preventsRead More

It is our business

The world is witness to the manifestation of giant industries that seem to be taking over our lives. Incessant advertising is present everywhere you look to, flashing names of the same chain companies repeatedly, almost in a loop. This is not to say that these big businesses…Read More

Volunteering for a society that cares

A trend among young people across the European Union is to travel to do voluntary work or provide humanitarian aid abroad. Across the EU, on our own ground, we face several social and environmental challenges which are at times ignored or overlooked. As Europe has gone through significant crisis and changes over the past few years…Read More

Reclaiming democracy

It’s been a year and we are none the wiser to know who ordered her assassination. The day Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed the greatest loss was hers, denied the right to live out her years. Next, come her husband, children, parents, family, all denied the ability to enjoy her love, her presence, her wit, her affection, her support and her exampleRead More

‘The greatness of a nation’ – Francis Zammit Dimech

Some days ago, Malta witnessed one of nature’s spectacles. One hundred turtles hatched at Ġnejna Bay, bringing joy to many. This rare experience could probably not have happened were it not to the dedicated work coming from Nature Trust, as well as other volunteers, who after having tended the eggs for weeks, were present on site and ensured that the hatchlings got safely to the water’s edge…Read More

The fight against cancer

Cancer is an ever-growing concern around the world, Malta being no exception. There are almost 2,000 new cases of cancer a year and about 900 annual deaths in Malta. This means that, on average, five people in Malta are diagnosed with a form of cancer every day, and the statistics tell us that this number is bound to increase.Read More

Question time: A plan for growth

Tourism in Malta is the best ‘seepage down’ economic activity in that thousands of people make a living off it. Through the sharing economy, more and more people in Malta and Gozo are reaping the results of sound tourism policies taken over the past decades and investment by the private sector that saw tourism development in Malta…Read More

Deal with YouTube around the corner

Maltese YouTubers will soon start to be compensated financially for content generated on YouTube. This follows the launch of a specific YouTube webpage for Malta: since that will not only make content from Malta more easily accessible for users but it means that we are a step closer for Maltese YouTubers to be compensated financially for content which they generate themselves on line… Read More

It just doesn’t wash

On May 1, 2017, Joseph Muscat, embattled by the revelations about the ownership of Egrant, and in the know that there was another, bigger scandal in the pipeline, hijacked the Labour Party’s first of May event to call a snap election…. Read More

Utility of Maltese language

Representing the people of Malta within the European Parliament includes identifying those subjects that are of a direct interest to us as a people and speak up about such matters after consulting stakeholders and others who would like to share with me their concerns, ideas and suggestions…. Read More

Life-changing opportunity

Do you fancy an interrail ticket – one train ticket that gives you the opportunity to travel through up to 30 European countries on your 18th birthday? As of this summer, you can receive a free Interrail pass to travel across many countries, giving you the opportunity to meet, connect and share emotions with people from different cultures…. Read More

Truth in the midst of lies

There is no freedom without democracy. There is no democracy without independent journalism. There is no journalism if information is not true and accurate.

We have to look again at the fundamentals: the very basis on which our mutual interactions and the organisation of our society are built. The success of any organisation is premised on a bond of trust and a consensus on basic rules…. Read More

Securing a future for food and farming: ‘A battle worth fight for’

Two months ago, a young first generation Gozitan farmers aid while being interviewed that if helped financially by the EU he will be encouraged to thrive more in the sector. For him, the EU is the lifeline to secure his future in a sector which locally has reached an average age of 55. Over the past weeks, I met several young people who are willing to get into farming and with other established farmers and producers who shared with me their challenges and proposals to overcome such limitations…. Read More

The future. Now

Throughout my years in the Nationalist Party I have seen it re-examine its own precepts, cementing its immutable values and renewing its vision and policy. For decades we were ahead of the times.

The PN prides itself on being on the right side of history whenever it mattered most… Read More

Muted speech and a distant dream

Within the European Parliament, I have made it a point to follow media issues pro-actively. I firmly believe that independent media and investigative journalists are key to safeguarding democracy and our right to be informed, more so when we are witnessing most of our institutions in a state of collapse.

At the beginning of this month we marked Press Freedom Day. Well, some of us did. Others rallied in crowds to scream adulation at a political leader who called them with the express and declared intention of giving the flick to the world’s journalistic community… Read More

‘Acknowledgements’ do not heal our diabetic patients

I was touched by a remark which came from a mother of a Type 1 diabetic, who told me that the skin on her son’s finger is so hard that she struggles to get the blood out, and that her son cries because of the pain.

I was recently co-hosting a conference on Diabetes with the Maltese Diabetes Association under the auspices of the President of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, during which several parents have remarked that… Read More

Our country needs to honour its own birthday – September 21, 1964

The first observation that needs to be made is that Malta does not have a national day. In virtue of the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act (Chapter 252) of the Laws of Malta, Malta has five national holidays but not one national day.

That law largely reflects one of the major reconciliation moves that former Nationalist prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami had made through Act VIII of 1989, amending the law as existing before that date… Read More

Duty to the creative industry

Since taking on my role as MEP I have worked in favour of a pluralistic society based on free and independent information.  My experience as a cabinet Minister for various portfolios including media, communication and culture made me understand the significance of this fundamental principle.

We are living the digital industrial revolution. This requires our pluralistic society, independent media and creative industry to embrace this digitisation transformation without fear or intimidation… Read More

Finding your Voice in the Digital Age

On Friday March 16, I will be organising an event aimed at providing creative people, artists, musicians and performers in Malta an inspiring experience through opportunities and tools on how to find their voice in the digital age.

This is a relatively new event concept locally, addressing a new way of life for millions of persons today, including Maltese… Read More

Grasping the opportunities of the digital revolution

My impression is that Maltese youths, enthusiasts, creators, businesses and start-ups are enthusiastic about grasping the opportunities of the digital age and are interested in learning ways and methods on how to enhance their development.

A quick look at data concerning Malta on internet usage released during this calendar year, shows how Maltese internet users are somewhat obsessed with social media… Read More