WATCH: Malta’s foreign policy outlined in a strategic document

Evarist Bartolo

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 November, 2021 at 3:31 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) has launched Malta’s Foreign Policy Strategy for public consultation, whereby for the first time, the foreign policy of Malta is outlined in a strategic document. The strategy outlines Malta’s values and guiding principles, which have been developed throughout our history, serving as a cornerstone of our foreign policy.

Minister Evarist Bartolo said the strategy is based on our interests and principles, such as the constitution, the rule of law, equality of opportunity, neutrality and sustainability. The main aim of this strategy is to have a foreign policy which serves the nation, its interests and its citizens, including Maltese living abroad, while also promoting our beliefs, culture and identity. As a small country, the Minister said it is in our interest  to solve international disputes by agreement to ensure  peace and security in the Mediterranean region and beyond.

The strategy is underpinned by a strategic framework comprising of three strategic goals which revolve around: achieving prosperity; promoting peace, security and dialogue; and maximising opportunities for influence in strategic regions and multilateral fora. Through the 22 identified objectives, to be reached by the end of 2023, the government aims to achieve tangible results for the country and its citizens.

Given the continuous changing global context, a strategy was necessary for our foreign policy to reflect and adapt to the latest global realities and address adequately today’s challenges. Malta’s Foreign Policy Strategy continues to build on current and previous achievements, defining Malta’s foreign policy. Equally important, the strategy acknowledges that while we should acknowledge our constraints, our size should not be perceived as a limitation either, as shown through several global initiatives which Malta has undertaken since its independence.

The press conference was also addressed by Christopher Cutajar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Cutajar said that Malta’s foreign policy is based on the values ​​built on an evolution of thinking since independence and that it wants to serve our nation and our citizens. Globalization is not an option but a necessity and that it does not exist in a vacuum but is part of an entire ecosystem.

The strategy is being shaped by the MFEA, which retains the overall responsibility to coordinate, consult and provide guidance on many of the areas identified in the strategy, the underlying goals can be reached through coherence, collaboration and cooperation. A credible foreign policy requires coherence and close coordination between all actors within the government, external stakeholders and activities, to ensure a clear and consistent message.

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