Alfred SANT
  • Alfred
  • Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
  • Member
  • Malta Partit Laburista
  • Date of birth: 28 February 1948, B'Kara

Speeches in plenary


Fiscal compact and its incorporation into the EU legal framework (debate)

04-10-2017 P8_CRE-PROV(2017)10-04(15)

State of the Union (debate)

13-09-2017 P8_CRE-PROV(2017)09-13(7)

Extension of the European statistical programme to 2020 (debate)

13-09-2017 P8_CRE-PROV(2017)09-13(17)

European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds (debate)

13-09-2017 P8_CRE-PROV(2017)09-13(18)

Review of the Maltese Presidency (debate)

04-07-2017 P8_CRE-REV(2017)07-04(2)

Fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law (debate)

04-07-2017 P8_CRE-REV(2017)07-04(21)

Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta (debate)

14-06-2017 P8_CRE-REV(2017)06-14(16)

Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta (debate) (2)

14-06-2017 P8_CRE-REV(2017)06-14(16)

Reflection paper on the deepening of the EMU by 2025 (debate)

13-06-2017 P8_CRE-REV(2017)06-13(9)

Reports - as rapporteur


Reports - as shadow rapporteur


REPORT Towards a pan-European covered bonds framework

26-06-2017 A8-0235/2017

REPORT on the Annual report on EU Competition Policy

17-12-2015 A8-0368/2015

REPORT on European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2015 priorities

20-10-2015 A8-0307/2015

REPORT on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: Annual Growth Survey 2015

02-03-2015 A8-0037/2015

Motions for resolutions


Written declarations


Written declaration on supporting ‘Odysseus’ for the relaunching of the European Voluntary Service

03-10-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0105 Lapsed


Jonás FERNÁNDEZ , Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN , Silvia COSTA , Antonio TAJANI , Ramón JÁUREGUI ATONDO , Jean-Marie CAVADA , Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS , Karima DELLI , Alain LAMASSOURE , Jo LEINEN , Molly SCOTT CATO , Svetoslav Hristov MALINOV , Mercedes BRESSO , Enrique CALVET CHAMBON , Barbara MATERA , Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR , José Manuel FERNANDES , Neena GILL , Santiago FISAS AYXELÀ , Hugues BAYET , Alfred SANT , Renato SORU , Eider GARDIAZABAL RUBIAL

Date opened : 03-10-2016
Lapse date : 03-01-2017
Number of signatories : 91 - 04-01-2017

Written declaration on the ‘fish war’ and the safety of fishermen

12-09-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0092 Lapsed


Michela GIUFFRIDA , Andrea COZZOLINO , Neoklis SYLIKIOTIS , Nicola CAPUTO , Alfred SANT , Raffaele FITTO , Marlene MIZZI , Takis HADJIGEORGIOU , Theodoros ZAGORAKIS , Roberta METSOLA , Patricija ŠULIN

Date opened : 12-09-2016
Lapse date : 12-12-2016
Number of signatories : 38 - 13-12-2016

Written declaration on broadband regulation

12-09-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0091 Lapsed


Michela GIUFFRIDA , Andrea COZZOLINO , Stefano MAULLU , Salvatore CICU , Alfred SANT , Raffaele FITTO , Marlene MIZZI , Takis HADJIGEORGIOU , Theodoros ZAGORAKIS , Eric ANDRIEU , Patricija ŠULIN

Date opened : 12-09-2016
Lapse date : 12-12-2016
Number of signatories : 63 - 13-12-2016

Written declaration on the potential of digital technologies for an improved and widespread access to knowledge

12-09-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0085 Lapsed


Andrea COZZOLINO , Catherine STIHLER , Nicola DANTI , Antanas GUOGA , Lambert van NISTELROOIJ , Sergio Gaetano COFFERATI , Massimiliano SALINI , Marisa MATIAS , Michela GIUFFRIDA , Alfred SANT

Date opened : 12-09-2016
Lapse date : 12-12-2016
Number of signatories : 81 - 13-12-2016

Written declaration on the overuse or misuse of antibiotics

12-09-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0081 Lapsed


Patricija ŠULIN , Monica MACOVEI , Tomáš ZDECHOVSKÝ , Dubravka ŠUICA , Stelios KOULOGLOU , Alfred SANT , Michela GIUFFRIDA , Salvatore CICU , José Inácio FARIA , Ivana MALETIĆ , Nicola CAPUTO , Marijana PETIR , Stefan ECK , Theodoros ZAGORAKIS , Lola SÁNCHEZ CALDENTEY , Marlene MIZZI , Ivan JAKOVČIĆ , Beatriz BECERRA BASTERRECHEA , Jozo RADOŠ , Doru-Claudian FRUNZULICĂ , Eleftherios SYNADINOS , Renata BRIANO

Date opened : 12-09-2016
Lapse date : 12-12-2016
Number of signatories : 95 - 13-12-2016

Written declaration on an EU Homelessness Strategy

27-04-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0052 Lapsed


Neena GILL , Brian HAYES , Alfred SANT , Karima DELLI , Lynn BOYLAN , Sylvie GUILLAUME , Ivan JAKOVČIĆ , Agnes JONGERIUS , Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS , Gabriele ZIMMER , Viorica DĂNCILĂ , Mary HONEYBALL , Stefan ECK , Bronis ROPĖ , Hugues BAYET , Klaus BUCHNER , Sylvie GOULARD

Date opened : 27-04-2016
Lapse date : 27-07-2016
Number of signatories : 310 - 28-07-2016

Written declaration on skills and competences in the tourism industry

27-04-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0039 Lapsed


Claudia ȚAPARDEL , Cláudia MONTEIRO DE AGUIAR , Igor ŠOLTES , Alfred SANT , Antonio TAJANI , Patricija ŠULIN , Merja KYLLÖNEN , Emilian PAVEL , István UJHELYI , Tomáš ZDECHOVSKÝ , Renaud MUSELIER , Silvia COSTA , David BORRELLI

Date opened : 27-04-2016
Lapse date : 27-07-2016
Number of signatories : 72 - 27-07-2016

Written declaration on the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease

11-04-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0037 Lapsed


Alfred SANT , Enrico GASBARRA , Marc TARABELLA , Fabio Massimo CASTALDO , Patricija ŠULIN , Giovanni LA VIA , Tomáš ZDECHOVSKÝ , Ivan JAKOVČIĆ , Edward CZESAK , Ángela VALLINA

Date opened : 11-04-2016
Lapse date : 11-07-2016
Number of signatories : 144 - 12-07-2016

Written declaration on the protection of the UNESCO sites in Europe

16-09-2015 P8_DCL(2015)0050 Lapsed


Alberto CIRIO , Claudia ȚAPARDEL , Ivan JAKOVČIĆ , Enrico GASBARRA , Marco ZULLO , Igor ŠOLTES , István UJHELYI , Cláudia MONTEIRO DE AGUIAR , Marlene MIZZI , Alfred SANT

Date opened : 16-09-2015
Lapse date : 16-12-2015
Number of signatories : 76 - 17-12-2015

Parliamentary questions


Follow-up to Written Question E-004600/17 on Geo-blocking of EU citizens living on islands

29-09-2017 E-006085/2017 Commission

VP/HR - The case of Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro and the Palestinian Cyber Crime Law

26-09-2017 E-005971/2017 Commission

Commission action on mass flight cancellations by Ryanair

20-09-2017 P-005862/2017 Commission

Collateral effects arising from recent anti-money laundering standards

13-09-2017 E-005675/2017 Commission

Follow-up to Question for Written Answer P-003389-17 on EFSI in island regions

20-07-2017 E-005026/2017 Commission

Unpaid internships at the European Commission

14-07-2017 E-004895/2017 Commission

Geo-blocking of EU citizens living on islands

07-07-2017 E-004600/2017 Commission

Unemployment rate

26-06-2017 E-004241/2017 Commission

Written explanations of vote


State of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom (B8-0538/2017, B8-0539/2017)


I abstained on the final vote on this resolution because I doubt how worthwhile it is for this Parliament to express an opinion now about the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Political groups are being informed by their assigned representatives about what is going on. At least, this is being done very well within the S&D group. Proclamations now by the European Parliament seem premature, indeed superfluous.
What the European Parliament should concentrate upon at this stage is identifying – item by item – sectors where the upcoming divorce with the UK will have concrete and swift impact on our constituents. We should then strive to define, on a forward basis, the best solution to the problems thus identified. For instance, I was alerted to the fact that with Brexit, life and other pension agreements contracted with British insurance companies by EU citizens could become legally inoperative (the same holds for ‘vice versa’ arrangements). This could have a big impact on say, citizens of Malta, where personal agreements on private pensions would most likely be held through British companies. As a priority, we need to know along the line, about all such scenarios, to make sure none of our citizens lose out.

Towards a pan-European covered bonds framework (A8-0235/2017 - Bernd Lucke)


Covered bonds have already proved themselves over centuries in some of the European markets. They have provided robust and flexible methods for raising finance, benefiting both issuers and investors in a reasonably transparent framework.
In the run-up to the Commission’s proposal for a directive, Parliament has approved a comprehensive and well-balanced resolution. As shadow rapporteur on this file, I voted in favour on the following understanding:
First, in the moves towards a capital markets union (CMU), it would be inconceivable not to allow space for covered bonds. The CMU does not have to be entirely seamless, nor does it have to apply on one-size-fits-all basis, but it cannot have significant gaps in its structure, which would be the case if covered bonds were not included in its purview.
Secondly, such directive would establish a clear definition that preserves the covered bond brand identity throughout a principle-based approach. It does not force too many details that would apply across different national markets and takes due recognition of long-standing national systems that have been working well until now, without disrupting them.
Thirdly, a directive would benefit Member States that do not have such a market yet or where it is still underdeveloped.

Disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches (A8-0227/2017 - Hugues Bayet, Evelyn Regner)


. ‒ I abstained on this motion because it has the effect of promoting EU common policies in favour of tax harmonisation. Declarations made repeatedly during its preparation confirm that this is one of the intentions behind it, going beyond the need – with which I agree – to curb tax abuses and money laundering.
Different Member States of the European Union have different endowments, while being subject to common rules regarding tariffs, excise duties, VAT and competition policies as well as (for eurozone members) strict budgetary management of debt and deficits. States with limited endowments, especially if situated at the periphery, must rely on tax flexibility to promote economic activity.
The fact that they must balance their books under eurozone rules ensures that their tax-and-spend regimes operate competitively under conditions comparable overall to those of their fellow members. Moreover, the low limits proposed for the turnover of companies that would be subject to income and profit reporting, discriminate against smaller economies. Due to the country’s size, relatively low turnover by their companies soon spills over into cross-border trade, making them liable to the proposed reporting rules – something which would take longer to happen in the bigger economies.

Statute and funding of European political parties and foundations (B8-0405/2017, B8-0406/2017)


. ‒ My vote on this resolution is qualified by the belief that the financing of pan-European parties through central EU funds needs greater discussion and more prominence. It should not be considered in isolation but rather must be linked to wider consideration of other forms of political financing under the aegis of the EU, including remuneration and operating allowances available to MEPs. The aim would be to achieve the greatest possible transparency and accountability across the board.
Otherwise, scandals and suspicions about misuse of funds will continue to prevail, as we saw recently in relation to various MEPs and national parties in different Member States, including the Nationalist Party in Malta. The review itself should be subject to the greatest transparency so that all, including the media and the public, will know who is making which submission and why.
The concept of pan-European political campaigning is hardly a new one. The Socialist International was an early pioneer. Still, national campaigns, through established national parties and foundations, remain an essential component. So, conceivably, it might make sense to change the rules regarding how political funds from the centre percolate to national systems. Whatever change or confirmation of current practices gets adopted, it must, at every stage, be decided on rigorously, transparently and democratically.

Status of fish stocks and socio-economic situation of the fishing sector in the Mediterranean (A8-0179/2017 - Marco Affronte)


I voted for this resolution because it makes a serious effort to consider traditional and artisanal fishing as an integral part of the fisheries sector in the Mediterranean, giving members of this community the prominence they deserve, while relating it in a realistic way to the effective management of fish stocks.
We can no longer ignore the fact that institutionally and economically, the position of traditional fishermen was not sufficiently taken into account when conservation policies were being drafted.
In part this happened because the legitimate interests of these fishermen were not adequately represented and assessed, in the face of a fast growing and politically effective ‘modern’ ‘industrial’ sector.
This has got to be corrected. Fortunately, there is a growing awareness among traditional fishermen even in the remoter areas that they need to mobilise more effectively.
For even now, there are some who consider traditional fishing as an economically non-viable activity which must be tolerated till it dies out on its own.
There is however a strong economic case, and not just a social and a cultural one, to preserve and enhance for the future traditional fishing in the same way that this is being done for fish stocks.

Union programme to support specific activities in the field of financial reporting and auditing (A8-0291/2016 - Theodor Dumitru Stolojan)


My vote on this resolution has been conditioned by an awareness that in recent years, there has been a growing demand for securities by people who were finding that their income from personal funds deposited with banks has shrunk.
For some, it has practically become non-existent.
The overall drop in interest rates which made bank deposits dead capital for the holders, has had a devastating effect on many pensioners and old people.
Turning to securities that could provide alternative income has been an approach that some have adopted.
Not all would know the implications of their financial moves, for instance when opting to invest in unsecured notes by companies.
Nor do people who have relied mostly on banks to hold their money necessarily turn to the best advisors when they need to change their financial model. In any event, such an approach would involve them in further expense to which they are not accustomed.
So, detailed, standardised labelling of financial instruments on offer that describe their properties in language that ordinary people can understand might help to prevent mistaken decisions by citizens when reordering their placements, in order to recoup some of their lost income.

Management of fishing fleets in the outermost regions (A8-0138/2017 - Ulrike Rodust)


. ‒ In line with previous statements I made about the need to actively promote the role of traditional fishermen, I voted in favour of today’s resolution on ‘Management of fishing fleets in the outermost regions’.
It includes a request to allow funding of the Outermost Regions’ artisanal and traditional fishing vessels which land all their catches in ports in the same regions and contribute to local sustainable development. The same criterion should apply to the traditional fishermen of Malta and Gozo. This would allow fishermen there to run their operations more effectively, within the limits of sustainable ongoing management of fish stocks.
However new equipment, by itself, cannot resolve the challenges that traditional fishermen face. They require a fair deal, based on an objective assessment of how fishing quotas originated internationally and were then repartitioned nationally. The situation of fishermen in small islands is of particular relevance in this context. Such fishermen must be sure that they will have reasonable access to the stocks of fish earmarked for harvesting. They should be helped to organise professionally so as to ensure that, albeit on a small scale, fishing still remains an activity around which their families can earn a decent livelihood.

Negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union (RC-B8-0237/2017, B8-0237/2017, B8-0241/2017, B8-0242/2017, B8-0243/2017)


While in broad agreement with this resolution, I have abstained in the vote on it for the following reasons:
I fail to see how in negotiating for an amicable divorce, it is proposed to first decide on the dissolution of the marriage, and then discuss the terms for the post-divorce situation. This procedure is neither realistic nor coherent with objectives that the resolution itself sets. It may have the effect of increasing uncertainties, instead of minimising them.
A more effective approach would be to negotiate on a final position for the UK-EU relationship, and then move towards it in a phased manner. I fail to understand the claim that this would weaken the hands of EU negotiators.
Also, the time allowed to MEPs for reflection and discussion was too short. Internal discussions on the draft text were basically on a take it or leave it basis.
Thirdly, a Parliament which rightly prides itself on insisting for full transparency in public affairs, has chosen as its representative in the Brexit negotiations, a member who derives income from sources outside Parliament but on matters related to its activities. I cannot accept this; huge scope could arise for potential conflicts of interest.

Constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a Common Security and Defence Policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty (A8-0042/2017 - Esteban González Pons, Michael Gahler)


Though it might sound tempting to promote a common security and defence policy for the EU, the likelihood is that it will be counterproductive. Such an initiative would not help to relight enthusiasm for closer union as much as heighten divergences between Member States.
It is preferable for the EU to concentrate on coordinating security measures within EU territory regarding terrorism, immigration and surveillance. Here the benefits could be reaped in the short to medium term, would be politically popular and easy to communicate.
The pursuit of a European defence policy as of now would inevitably highlight the greater military importance of the larger participating Member States. This would contribute to sow distrust between partners regarded as ‘dominant’ and others regarded as ‘followers’. Meanwhile, neutral countries might decide not to participate fully or partly in the policy.
The further prospect of a two- or three-speed Europe here too would further contribute to the disjointedness that, among other problems, is currently afflicting the European project. Given Malta’s status as a neutral country, I would be in favour of opting out from any comprehensive European defence and security policy. For these reasons, I have voted against the resolution.

Minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits (A8-0011/2017 - Stefan Eck)


My vote for this resolution basically underlines my agreement with all measures that would enhance the welfare and living conditions of rabbits being reared commercially for their meat.
However, it is subject to the reservation that I disagree completely that there should be common European legislation to regulate the commercial rearing of rabbits.
Experience in other sectors has shown that such regulation ends up reinforcing the commercial advantage of larger scale enterprises to the detriment of smaller units.
Especially in the smaller Member States, many of the smaller units are traditionally run on a family basis. Their operations follow inherited practices.
The markets they service are basically families living in the neighbourhood of the farm.
Obligating such enterprises to follow new regulations while submitting them to new controls would decrease their competitiveness. It is unacceptable to place these small scale operations in such a situation. Their market is already experiencing spasmodic shrinkages as well as unfair competition, including from non-EU sources.
Given that, from a health perspective, the consumption of rabbit meat is to be recommended, rather than consider further regulation of the small scale sector, what we need are new measures, national and European, to promote their activities.



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