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Updated: New political group launched

Libertas EU has launched a political institute and party in Malta with leader Mary Gauci announcing she will be contesting the European Parliament elections on its behalf. Other candidates may be announced at a later stage.

The new pan European group wants to create a new, democratic and open European Union. European group leader Declan Ganley, an Irish entrepreneur, told a news conference this morning that the group will have more than 100 candidates contesting the EP elections all over the EU.

He spoke against the way the Lisbon Treaty was tackled saying that the power of democracy in Europe was dying with all decisions being taken by people who were not democratically elected.

Europeans, he said, were living in a post democratic society where no one was held accountable.

The new group, he said, was pro-European and believed in the pooling of nations' sovereignity but not at the expense of democracy.

With the way the Lisbon Treaty was handled, Brussels had ignored the democratic voices of France, the Netherlands and Ireland. In Malta there had been no debate on the treaty before it was approved, he pointed out.

Ms Gauci, who is the former deputy leader of Azzjoni Nazzjonali, explained that Libertas was committed to a real reform of the European insitutions. It insisted that the EU should give more attention to each member state, and facilitate better pooling of sovereignty.

""Libertas stands for democracy, transparency and accountability at the heart of the European Union. Libertas is an effective new way of doing European politics."

The group's five major proposals are:

A short treaty not more than 25 pages to be accepted by referendum in all member states;

Democracy – all EU laws decided by MPs – national or European;

Accountability – scrutinise the Commission and all other law makers;

Transparency – everything open/transparent notwithstanding approved exceptions;

True subsidiarity whereby national parliaments decide the legislative programme – bottom-up, not top-down.

Asked about the group's political ideology, Mr Ganley said it could not be categorised left or right since it was focusing on democracy, rather than issues.

Ms Gauci described illegal migration to Malta as a national wound but stopped short of making any concrete proposals as to how the problem should be tackled.

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