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Alfred SANT Alfred SANT
Alfred SANT

Skupina naprednega zavezništva socialistov in demokratov v Evropskem parlamentu

Član

Malta - Partit Laburista (Malta)

Datum rojstva : , Sliema

Pisne obrazložitve glasovanja Alfred SANT

Poslanci lahko na plenarnem zasedanju predložijo pisno obrazložitev svojega glasovanja. Člen 194

Trgi finančnih instrumentov (A9-0208/2020 - Markus Ferber) EN

10-02-2021

As I have previously expressed it, the approach chosen for this proposal is deeply flawed. This is why I voted, together with the Socialists and Democrats group, against the present agreement.
The Capital Markets recovery package aims at mobilising private capital to help companies facing the Covid-19 crisis. In parallel, we have high regulatory standards that were introduced after the deregulation-incurred 2008 crisis. If flexibility has to be introduced, one cannot abandon our prudential rules and the fundamental reforms that led to them.
A comprehensive review of the framework is scheduled for the near future. I simply do not see why we should pre-empt it with the excuse of the pandemic without a thorough assessment.
At a time of crisis, investor confidence is key and if we decrease consumer protection, it will be counterproductive to objectives of activating private funds.

Pridružitveni sporazum EU z Ukrajino (A9-0219/2020 - Michael Gahler) EN

10-02-2021

I have abstained on the final vote on this report and refrained from voting on all the separate measures it contained that were brought to a roll call vote.
I certainly support, in itself, the Association Agreement that lays the grounds for a meaningful economic relationship with Ukraine, one which respects the country’s sovereignty and serves to encourage the independent development of its institutions flowing from a genuinely free and democratic electoral system.
The EU has committed to co-operate on a broad range of areas, and the agreement notably focuses on the modernisation of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. With all this I fully agree.
However, a number of opinions and facts are being alleged in this report regarding the electoral situation and the relationship of Ukraine with its direct neighbour, Russia.
I have become increasingly suspicious of all parties involved in the Ukraine situation, their bona fide and the veracity of what they say to each other and to third parties, including the EU and its diverse representatives.
At this time, taking sides one way or the other – as the resolution does at many points – just does not make sense, in my view.

Vzpostavitev mehanizma za okrevanje in odpornost (A9-0214/2020 - Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Siegfried Mureşan, Dragoș Pîslaru) EN

09-02-2021

I voted in favour of the final agreement on the proposal establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility because the launch of this facility is a crucial measure by which to counter the ongoing economic crisis.
An EU agreement on this public injection of money is an important step forward, especially in contrast to the very different approach adopted during the 2008 financial crisis.
It is also very positive that the facility gives attention to economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as to the Pillar of Social Rights.
However, one cannot but criticise the complex operational structure of the Facility, with a long list of targets pre-imposed on the plans national authorities are supposed to autonomously draft.
Although well intentioned – as one would think – this one-size-fits-all approach might still in practice create unnecessary constraints on the economies of some of the smaller Member States.
Finally, considering the difficulties already faced in the past, the strict linkage of the Facility to the European Semester process is very problematic. Even more so, is the acceptance by those on the progressive side of EU politics to let macroeconomic conditionality be attached to the approval of funding under the Facility.

Evropska centralna banka – letno poročilo za leto 2020 (A9-0002/2021 - Sven Simon) EN

09-02-2021

I have, with some unease, voted in favour of the European Central Bank’s report for 2020.
The ECB has been an essential element in the ongoing effort to contain and repair the economic and financial damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For quite a while, till the recovery package was fully negotiated by the EU partners, the ECB seemed like the only actor at EU level with a proactive and concrete strategy able to do so.
The launch of the specially designed pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) was indicative of this, serving as an “adequate” early reponse.
However one cannot but feel unease at how the ECB, not for the first time, seems to assume a leading role in strategic firefighting or policy innovation.
In the US, Federal Reserve action to counter the pandemic was paralleled almost right from the start by fiscal responses from the US government side.
True ECB action was underpinned by national budgetary initiatives while eurozone rules were relaxed. But it is not the same thing.
Surely allowing at EU level, an “independent” technocratic set-up to lead the charge is tantamount to loosening the constraints of democratic control and accountability that the EU needs to maintain, especially during extremely serious crisis situations.

Zmanjševanje neenakosti s posebnim poudarkom na revščini zaposlenih (A9-0006/2021 - Özlem Demirel) EN

09-02-2021

I voted in favour of the Report on reducing inequalities with a special focus on in-work poverty because it is essential that an EU-level structured debate on this sector takes place.
EU policymaking has been for too long side lining poverty issues, effectively providing them with only a secondary focus in major proposals - if at all.
In the meantime, the EU is facing a second major economic crisis in a very short period. This is resulting in the growth of inequalities and poverty, worsened by a high level of precarious and low-quality jobs.
Furthermore, the emergence of work undertaken via online platforms is worsening the situation for many entering the labour market.
The austerity approach featured in major EU policymaking for the last two decades did not help either.
At this point, the report’s proposals aimed at reducing in-work poverty, especially through stronger collective bargaining systems and adequate minimum income and pensions are highly commendable.
The EU needs to decisively change its approach if it wants to reverse the growing trend of poverty and an economy based on low grade jobs that is weakening the quality of life of its citizens.

Dostojna in cenovno dostopna stanovanja za vse (A9-0247/2020 - Kim Van Sparrentak) EN

21-01-2021

I voted in favour of this Resolution because it sends a timely political message at a moment when a growing number of Europeans are facing difficulties in accessing a decent level of housing.
The ongoing economic crisis is leaving behind a new poverty on the continent.
Now is the moment for European countries to revaluate national housing policies.
Governments need to assert political will to enhance and deepen the supply side of the market. Likewise, EU state-aid rules on social housing should be relaxed.
The housing emergency has been piling up for decades. Free market laissez-faire in housing policies, plus the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity measures that followed magnified the phenomenon.
Already back in 2016, according to reports made during a debate on the topic organised by my office with the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, the situation was getting out of hand.
That housing affordability is now being included in the Semester process and the Commission’s country specific recommendations system is positive. This should be a mainstay of the EU’s commitment to strengthen the social pillar of EU action.
Measures to avoid a repeat of the 2008 social debacle in the housing sector must reflect an ‘all that it takes’ approach.

Reforma seznama davčnih oaz EU (B9-0052/2021) EN

21-01-2021

I voted against this report, while supporting the objectives of drawing up an EU list of tax havens, which I understand to mean jurisdictions that blatantly and knowingly run tax systems that help outside persons, corporations and other financial entities evade or avoid the taxes they should be paying.
I fully agree that such approaches should be denounced and combated, which is why I support the increase of public scrutiny in the processes of the Code of Conduct Group that draws up the list. I also welcome the call to strengthen the screening criteria and make the list more effective in an increasingly digitalised economy.
However, I disagree that this resolution should seek to override the tax sovereignty that Member States have under the treaties. This runs parallel with another exercise to name and shame certain EU members for being ‘secrecy’ jurisdictions when in fact they are applying EU laws on tax transparency and anti-abuse measures. The idea which the resolution supports for Europe-wide minimum tax rates denies the legitimate right of peripheral countries to set tax rates that compensate for the endowment and situational handicaps that they carry in the single market. I absolutely cannot support the disproportionate proposals for tax harmonisation featured in the resolution.

Spremljanje uporabe prava EU za leta 2017, 2018 in 2019 (A9-0270/2020 -Sabrina Pignedoli) EN

20-01-2021

. ‒ I voted in favour of this report identifying a wide range of key issues for the application of EU law.
I especially welcome the focus on the respect for the principle of subsidiarity in this text and the recognition of the crucial role of national parliaments. It is true that current forms of cooperation could be improved, while regional and local authorities, in subsidiarity control, could be better involved.
The report also touches upon important sensitive issues such as solidarity for the relocation of asylum seekers.
What I cannot support in this resolution is the clause asking the European Commission to come up with a legislation banning citizenship by investment schemes. My position remains the same: while citizenship/visa programmes can be screened and criticised through appropriate EU anti-money laundering legislation, these programmes form part of the sovereign rights of member-states. They are by no means attached to Union policies.

Izvajanje skupne zunanje in varnostne politike – letno poročilo 2020 (A9-0266/2020 -David McAllister) EN

20-01-2021

I have abstained on this report which from a certain perspective, could be seen as calling for further militarisation of Europe.
I did so out of prudence.
The text ignores the neutrality principle that is a constitutional core of EU Member States like Malta. Moreover, I am critical of the Defence Fund and the so-called ‘strategic autonomy’ focusing on the military that are being advocated in it. About a half of the grants allocated under the fund happen to go to the biggest EU arms producers and exporters, which leaves arms suppliers from other EU Member States with limited funding on which to draw.
Moreover, the whole process by which the fund has been set up seems flawed. Companies whose leaders were part of the 2016 Group of Personalities advising the European Commission to create a military research programme are largely benefiting from those programmes today. Complaints that this has been happening with a lack of transparency need to be investigated.
One can only remain sceptical about a strategic ‘security’ policy that ignores the perspectives of neutral EU Member States that also have no stake in arms production. Yet they are contributing to the fund from which EU ‘security’ programmes are being disbursed to arms producers.

Izvajanje skupne varnostne in obrambne politike – letno poročilo 2020 (A9-0265/2020 - Sven Mikser) EN

20-01-2021

I have abstained on this report which from a certain perspective, could be seen as calling for further militarisation of Europe.
I did so out of prudence. The text ignores the neutrality principle that is a constitutional core of EU Member States like Malta. Moreover, I am critical of the Defence Fund and the so-called ‘strategic autonomy’ focusing on the military that are being advocated in it.
About a half of the grants allocated under the fund happen to go to the biggest EU arms producers and exporters, which leaves arms suppliers from other EU Member States with limited funding on which to draw. Moreover, the whole process by which the fund has been set up seems flawed.
Companies whose leaders were part of the 2016 Group of Personalities advising the European Commission to create a military research programme are largely benefiting from those programmes today. Complaints that this has been happening with a lack of transparency need to be investigated.
One can only remain sceptical about a strategic ‘security’ policy that ignores the perspectives of neutral EU Member States that also have no stake in arms production. Yet they are contributing to the fund from which EU ‘security’ programmes are being disbursed to arms producers.

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