The Law establishing the Council of Maltese living abroad was introduced today.
This Council was founded for the first time with representatives from Maltese Communities living abroad. The setting up of this council is reflects a promise by the Government that took place during “The Convention of Maltese living abroad” organised in 2010.
The Council will be presided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and consists of representatives appointed following consultation with Maltese communities from the following countries and regions:
- Victoria and New South Wales in Australia;
- Other States in Australia;
- United States of America;
- United Kingdom.
The Council also includes five experienced people who worked with Maltese communities living abroad. The Council represents these communities in meetings with the Government of Malta and every other public authority. It monitors the standard of living of such communities and strengthens the links between them and the political, cultural, economical and social aspects of Malta. Yet another function of this Council is the protection of these communities’ right whilst upholding their cultural and linguistic identity. The Council is to also promote Malta’s immigration history and culture overseas, in particular the learning of the Maltese language.
The Council is to give advice to the Government on every legal bill that is of interest to Maltese living abroad as well as every administrative measure that is of particular interest to Maltese communities.
The Council has the responsibility of keeping a registry of non-governmental organisations’ that were founded overseas by Maltese communities. A registry of prominent Maltese citizens that may have distinguished themselves abroad is also on the task list of the Council.
The members of this Council are as follows:
- Mr Lawrence Dimech and Mr Gaetano Pace from New South Wales
- Prof. Maurice Cauchi and Dr. Edwin Borg Manché from Victoria
- Mr Frank Scicluna from other states in Australia
- Mr Larry Zahra u Mr Louis Vella from United States of America
- Mr Joseph Scerri from Canada
- Mr Bernard Scerri from United Kingdom
- Mr Franklin Mamo from Europe
The five Maltese community experts living abroad that were chosen by the Prime Minister after consultation with the Opposition are:
- Mr Roderic Bovingdon (Australia)
- Fr Alfred Vella (Migrants Commission)
- Mr. Joseph Muscat (Gozo)
- Ms. Carmen Galea (Canada)
- Rosalie Rivett (United Kingdom)
The Secretary of the Council is Ms Doris Zammit
The first meeting of the Council of Maltese living abroad will be held this year. The law stipulates that this Council meets at least once a year in Malta. Such meetings may also be held via video or audio conferencing.
The Government of Malta appreciates the Opposition’s cooperation in the selection of the committee members and in the approving the law at Parliament level.