Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/51957
Title: Malta’s Parliament and the European dimension : the early years 1962-1987
Other Titles: Public life in Malta : papers on governance, politics and public affairs in the EU's smallest member state : Vol. 2/2
Authors: Pirotta, Godfrey A.
Keywords: Malta -- History -- 20th century
European Union -- Membership
European Union -- Relations -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy. Department of Public Policy
Citation: Pirotta, G. A. (2017). Malta’s Parliament and the European dimension : the early years 1962-1987. In M.T. Vassallo, & C. Tabone (Eds.), Public life in Malta : papers on governance, politics and public affairs in the EU's smallest member state : Vol. 2/2 (pp. 53-82). Msida: University of Malta.
Abstract: It was in 1957 that the European Economic Community (EEC or Common Market) came into existence for the first, the very same year in which the Maltese launched their quest for independence. On December 30th Malta’s Parliament voted unanimously in favour of a historic resolution popularly known as the ‘Break with Britain’ resolution (Pirotta, 2006: 131). Consequently, what the future for Malta should look like after independence became an important issue for debate. Should Malta break off completely from Britain, remain in the Commonwealth or seek association with the EEC? This paper looks at the way the debate touching the EEC unfolded in Parliament. Many commentators and students of Maltese politics tend to ignore Parliamentary Debates as an important primary source and focus on reports featured in newspapers. But Parliament is the ultimate policy arena not only where policies are debated and ultimately approved or rejected, but the place where vital information is disclosed and laid on the Table of the House. This paper will, hopefully, prove this point. The paper, as noted, deals mainly with the way parties in Parliament approached the European dimension from the inception of the Common Market until 1987 when Malta had a government that made membership of the EU its main foreign policy option. In the first instance this paper will demonstrate what the parties’ position towards this emerging block was. Second, it brings out the different emphasis that each political party placed on relations with the EEC. Since in the 1960s more than two parties were represented in Parliament the views of the smaller parties are also given some attention. Finally, the paper will demonstrate that, on the one hand, for the Nationalist Party (PN) the issue was mainly political and cultural with the economic aspect appearing sometimes as an obstacle for a closer relationship with the Common Market. On the other hand it will show that it was the economic factor, rather than the political, that intrigued the Malta Labour Party (MLP). In other words the PN’s main aim was to look for ways to bring Malta within the EEC sphere on the grounds that Malta’s European identity demanded this while that of the MLP was to extract as much economic advantages as possible.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/51957
ISBN: 9789995710477
Appears in Collections:Public life in Malta : papers on governance, politics and public affairs in the EU's smallest member state : Vol. 2 / 3

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