Maltese politician lands on Politico's list of doers

Dubbed an "eco-warrior", MEP Miriam Dalli is credited with pushing through climate change rules against powerful lobbies.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Maltese politician lands on Politico's list of doers - NewsMavens
Miriam Dalli, Twitter

Why this story matters:

Politicians and voters are slowly warming up to the idea that the European Parliament is not a place to recycle tired domestic politicians -- it is where a proactive personality can ignite change that will impact the whole bloc. Dalli is placed on Politico's list alongside British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Ukrainian presidential hopeful Yulia Tymoshenko.

Miriam Dalli has acted as the chair of the “Circular Economy” Working Group of the EP Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development”.

In this capacity, Dalli called on stakeholders, including from the plastics industry, to discuss how to improve recyclability of plastic materials in 2016.

In one of the recent motions, along with other seven MEPs, she called for a global ban to end animal testing for cosmetics. Dalli advocates closing loopholes in emissions testing, which became apparent during the so-called Dieselgate.

The Politico class of 2019 is headed by the Italian far-right leader Matteo Salvini and focuses on leadership -- for better or for worse. The previous Maltese person to make it to the list was the late blogger and investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017. Caruana Galizia criticized Miriam Dali for posing with her baby during a parliament sitting, as some politicians around the world do, suggesting that Dalli should use creches instead.

"Voters care about the issues that make a difference in their lives," she told Politico.

Meanwhile, at home, the ruling Labour Party which Dalli represents in the EP has inserted some active mobility wording into its policies here and there, but has not managed to stem Malta's extreme car addiction.

Last week Peter Paul Barbara, director of the sustainable mobility unit at Transport Malta, proclaimed that "Due to geographical limitations of Malta, however, no new cycling lanes will be built." Geographical limitations do not apply to widening roads for cars.

Details from the story:

  • Miriam Dalli has united left-leaning and green parties to vote in favor of tougher emissions targets in the European Parliament than suggested by the European Commission. The
  • The vote went through despite opposition from the European People’s Party, the European Parliament's biggest group, and fierce lobbying from the German car industry. The car industry proposed a 20% cut, the Commission -- 30%, and the European Parliament’s environment committee -- 40% cut in emissions by 2030. A few days later, environment ministers of the countries agreed on a lower target of 35%.
  • To become legislation, the measures will have to be approved by the European Council -- representatives of the Member States.
  • Dalli has also called for a fund to contribute to a transition toward zero-emission mobility.
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