MEP goes on Facebook to defend ‘least active’ claim
Marlene Mizzi has claimed her Facebook posts demonstrate she works hard as an MEP, after a website ranked her the ‘least active’ of all Malta’s elected representatives in Brussels. Mepranking.eu reveals that the Labour MEP was the 735th least active out of all 766 elected representatives in the European Parliament during the current legislature.
“I have regularly documented my activities as an MEP on my Facebook page and Facebook profile from day one and it has long been evident that I have been extremely active as an MEP,” Ms Mizzi said.
Her position is skewed somewhat by the fact that she was only elected last April, along with fellow Labourite Claudette Abela Baldacchino and the PN’s Roberta Metsola. Other MEPs, including the PN’s David Casa and Labour’s John Attard-Montalto, have served the full parliamentary term after being elected in 2009.
Ms Mizzi claimed the rankings “certainly do not reflect my work and activities as an MEP. Evidently there must be an error or missing information relating to my work”.
Mr Casa is by far Malta’s most active MEP, followed by his PN colleague Dr Metsola. The rankings show that Ms Abela Baldacchino is the third most active.
Dr Attard-Montalto, despite serving a five-year term, had only conducted 60 ‘activities’, making him the 714th least active MEP in the entire Parliament.
This was three more activities than his Labour stablemate Joseph Cuschieri, who was elected in December 2011.
The ‘activities’ analysed to create the rankings are participation in roll call votes, questions, motions, reports, shadow reports, amended reports, opinions, shadow opinions, speeches and declarations. Ms Mizzi pointed out that since she was elected, she had attended all but two parliamentary sessions. Her absence was due to the fact that she was representing the European Parliament overseas.
She emphasised that she had been appointed shadow rapporteur on four “important” reports for the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, of which she is vice president.
The official European Parliament website lists Ms Mizzi as shadow rapporteur on only one report: “The others have been approved at committee stage and are waiting to be presented in plenary,” she said.
A shadow rapporteur monitors a report being drafted by a rapporteur on behalf of their political group.
“It is important to note that weighting given to reports and opinions is far superior to any parliamentary questions and speeches,” she said.
“Being appointed on four [shadow] reports in my nine-month term is considered an honourable achievement,” she added.
Mounting a strong defence of her record, she continued that the number of parliamentary questions and speeches she had made were on par with other Maltese MEPs.
According to official records, Ms Mizzi has made 27 speeches in plenary and submitted six questions, compared to the 107 speeches and eight questions by Dr Metsola and the 63 speeches and 46 questions by Ms Abela Baldacchino.
In terms of activities not included in the statistics, Ms Mizzi is a member of the Intergroup for Animal Welfare and the Jobs for Europe group, as well as a substitute member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.
Compared with Ms Mizzi’s 38 listed ‘activities’, Dr Metsola, who was elected at the same time, had conducted 124 activities, the majority of which were parliamentary speeches.
Mr Casa was in a league of his own when it came to the ‘superior’ activities, having authored seven reports, one shadow report, nine opinions and two shadow opinions.
His overall ranking was 106 out of 766 MEPs.
Ms Mizzi took to Facebook yesterday to vent her frustration at the rankings website.
“The worth of MEPs has been reduced to the ability of their offices to mass produce parliamentary questions and one-minute speeches which are, most times, not even read out in Parliament by the MEP!” she wrote.
“Evidently I have not mass produced enough PQs and short stories, so that makes me a bad MEP! The worst one in fact!”
• David Casa elected: June 2009 – 584 activities – overall position: 106
• Roberta Metsola elected: April 2013 – 124 activities – overall position: 618
• Claudette Abela Baldacchino elected: April 2013 – 119 activities – overall position: 633
• John Attard-Montalto elected: June 2009 – 60 activities – overall position: 714
• Joseph Cuschieri elected: December 2011 – 57 activities – overall position: 717
• Marlene Mizzi elected: April 2013 – 38 activities – overall position: 735