STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MALTA: The Prime Minister nominates Dr Helena Dalli as member of the European Commission

During the past days, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had conversations with the President elect of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, regarding Malta’s nomination for member of the European Commission.

The profiles of two suitable and highly qualified individuals were discussed within the context of competences, the stated need for gender balance within the Commission and potential portfolios.  At the end of this process, the Prime Minister decided to nominate Dr Helena Dalli as member of the European Commission.  Dr Dalli will be the first female Commissioner nominated by Malta since the country’s accession to the European Union.

Dr Dalli will immediately resign from her ministerial post to focus on preparing for the hearing with the European Parliament.  She will stay on as a Member of Parliament until her eventual confirmation.

The Prime Minister has decided to appoint Dr Edward Zammit Lewis as the new Minister for European Affairs and Equality.  Dr Zammit Lewis, who already held cabinet posts throughout the whole of the past legislature and is the outgoing Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee, will be sworn in tomorrow.

The government would like to thank outgoing European Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, for the impeccable job he carried out over the past five years.  The Prime Minister looks forward to Mr Vella’s renewed involvement with government-related activities once his term as Commissioner expires.