Last Updated on Wednesday, 9 February, 2022 at 2:53 pm by Andre Camilleri
Malta has launched its Foreign Policy Strategy Document reflecting the suggestions and comments after it had been launched for public consultation on 10 November 2021. The new policy is intended to serve the nation and its citizens, wherever they may be.
The foreign policy is shaped to secure and develop beneficial and peaceful bilateral and multilateral relationships with our neighbours in Europe, in the Mediterranean and in Africa, and with the greatest possible number of countries, contributing to the overall benefit of Maltese citizens in the process. Malta’s foreign policy also serves to increase prosperity and improve the livelihood of its citizens. In conjunction with other stakeholders, an effective foreign policy attracts investment and increases trade, and supports the efforts of Maltese businesses in overseas markets, with the objective of increasing wealth, prosperity, and enterprise in Malta, including both inward and outward investment.
The values of neutrality enshrined within Malta’s Constitution and its membership within the European Union which were both deemed controversial during their introduction are now both considered as integral to Malta’s positioning on the international front.
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo said that Malta’s foreign policy should serve the interests of the country and its citizens while promoting our values, beliefs and identity. To achieve this, we need to continue investing in strong bilateral and multilateral relationships with all regions of the world in a collaborative spirit for integrity, prosperity and stability.
Minister Bartolo pointed out that our immediate neighbourhood should be a priority. Being a Mediterranean island-state, we are surrounded by a sea which may separate, but which can also unite, continued the minister. The region is experiencing a period of instability, and learning to live together, creating unity from our diversity, may be the biggest challenge of the times ahead. Malta seeks to continue to play an important role in peacebuilding and to advocate dialogue as a neutral and reliable partner.
Statistician Dr Vincent Marmara explained the outcomes of a survey carried out on the perceptions of the Maltese citizens on several elements of Malta’s foreign policy, such as Malta’s role in global politics, in the EU and in the Mediterranean; Malta’s neutrality; bilateral relations with several countries; Maltese living abroad; and other matters. This survey was commissioned by Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and is essential towards having a better understanding of the views and perceptions of Maltese citizens, along with their expectations from Malta’s foreign and European policy.
Mr Christopher Cutajar, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, said that this policy charts the way in which Malta, as a sovereign state, continues to determine its place in the world. This policy is not only an attempt to devise a strategy on its own, but it fully contextualises the eco-system in which the country must operate in, well anchored in a set of values which make out of Malta a consistent and credible nation state.