Andrew Micallef is the National Ambassador for the League of Young Voters (LYV) Malta. In a statement made to Insite, he revealed that the European Youth Forum has awarded the LYV Malta with the recognition of having run the most effective LYV campaign in mobilizing youths in the run-up to this year’s European Parliament elections, almost a year to the day that the LYV scheme was launched in Brussels.
With branches in 24 of the 28 European member states, LYV is a widespread initiative aimed at raising awareness amongst European youths on the inner workings of the European Union, as well as providing them with an accessible platform on which they can raise their EU-related concerns. Micallef thanked the European Youth Forum for such an acknowledgement of LYV Malta’s work and congratulated all the people and organizations involved, in particular Kunsill Nazzjonali taz-Zghazagh (KNZ), Agenzija Zghazagh, and Malta’s European Parliament Office. He described this pioneering campaign as a successful one that saw a significant number of Maltese youths take an active interest in something that was of direct benefit to them.
Micallef also expressed his concern at the amount of seats that have been voted to members of far-right parties. He explained this trend as the result of a number of failures in European centrist policies such as the imposition of austerity measures on weak economies, as well as on voter apathy. France, for example, only saw a voter turn-out of around 35%, the majority of which then ended up voting for members of the National Front. He also had a few words to say about the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which he views as a ‘racist party’ that has managed to win over the Conservative grassroots and which will now fight to get the United Kingdom out of the EU. Despite the fair share of problems that the EU has faced in recent years, Micallef emphasized that it has always managed to maintain peace. He warned that a departure from the EU, coupled with Scotland’s potentially impending independence, could prove severely damaging to the UK’s economy.
As a final message, the National Ambassador took the opportunity to encourage Maltese youths to let go of any inferiority complexes they might possess as a result of Malta being the smallest EU member state. Despite the success of this campaign, he pointed out that the voter turn-out in Malta decreased by around 4% from the 2009 MEP elections and therefore insisted that the work of LYV cannot stop here.