vendredi, juillet 29, 2005

Mediocrity: A virtual necessity?

Jason Azzopardi writes (also in today's Times):

"The Maltese Parliament has been facing an increasing number of challenges as a result of its responsibility in scrutinising the EU's pipeline acquis.


The government is involved in the scrutiny process from the start, ensuring accountability and transparency on its part with regard to the forwarded EU legislations. In fact, all documents originating from the EU are forwarded to the relevant ministries, who have to prepare an explanatory memorandum (EM) to be presented to Parliament. The EM has to include, inter alia, the ministry's assessment of all the political, legal, social, environmental, financial and/or economic implications with the adoption of the draft acquis in question.


Although the members on this committee are limited in number compared to our European counterparts, I feel profound satisfaction in the fact that the representatives of both sides of the House are pulling the same rope towards giving top priority to safeguarding the national interest. Through a much admired spirit of cooperation and determination, all committee members are working hard towards ensuring that in scrutinising the work of government with regard to EU legislation, no stone is left unturned.

During its first year of operation, significant progress was recorded by the committee as evidenced by the number of times the committee and the working groups were convened and the progress achieved thereafter.

The committee members are not full-time parliamentarians. Contrary to the situation in all European countries, no Maltese MP has any personal/office backup and each one has to juggle with his private profession, family, constituency demands and heavy parliamentary workload.


Parliamentary scrutiny is indeed an essential tool in bridging the gap between the government and the electorate. In ensuring information-sharing, accountability and transparency, it is aimed at reducing the much maligned democratic deficit.

It has underlined the vitality of the quest for what is in the national interest."

An interesting final two paragraphs lead to a Non Sequitur of immense magnitude. This is how we bridge the gap between government and electorate. I guess the gap is reduced in direct proportion to the number of times the committee is convened.

In Medio Stat Virtus ... n'est-ce pas?

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