22nd Apr 2019

Malta ratifies EU entry

The Maltese parliament last night approved the ratification of the treaty enabling Malta's accession to the EU, paving its way to join the bloc next year with 9 other countries.

The ratification was approved with 34 votes in favour and 25 votes against.

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  • MALTA's two main political parties are divided over the EU issue (Photo: European Commission)

Whilst all Nationalist Government MPs - currently in government - voted in favour of the ratification bill, all Labour Opposition MPs present, voted against it.

The Labour party, which spearheaded its campaign against EU membership, had five MPs missing amongst them the leader Alfred Sant.

Although the referendum on EU entry held in Malta last March resulted in a yes majority, it was only a consultative one, and therefore the accession treaty had to be ratified by Parliament.

The bill on which the House of Representatives voted on Monday evening was very different from the initial bill presented, with government removing controversial clauses that gave it far-reaching powers, said.

The government, after pressure from the Labour party, withdrew a clause which gave the prime minister power, for a one year period, to conform laws to EU legislation without resorting to parliament, reported.

Labour also got a formal commitment from government that all EU legislation transposed into the Maltese legal system should be subject to the Maltese constitution.

Malta's vote came a few hours after Cyprus also ratified its accession treaty. Cyprus is the only country amongst the 9 acceding the EU, which did not hold a referendum on EU entry.

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