Commonwealth country Malta is maintaining its position as a forerunner of change within Europe, following recent results on its reduction of energy consumption and lowering of the voting age to 16
Commonwealth country Malta is maintaining its position as a forerunner of change within Europe, following recent results on its reduction of energy consumption and lowering of the voting age to 16.
On March 5, 2018 the Maltese parliament unanimously passed a proposal to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in national parliamentary and European elections, having previously removed the bar on young people aged 16-17 voting in local elections.
It fulfils a pledge made by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during his election campaign and was identified by a Party of European Socialists (PES) working group in 2017 as an important way to strengthen the engagement of young people in politics, as well as to fight voter abstention in general.
It is only the second EU country to implement the democratic reform, following in the footsteps of Austria.
In a statement, PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “This is progressive politics in action: making the democratic process more inclusive, strengthening the rights of young people, and putting our trust in voters.”
In addition, Malta has also become the second most country in the European Union to reduce energy consumption between 2006 and 2016.
Figures from Eurostat show that in the past 10 years up to 2016, Malta managed to reduce energy consumption by 22.5%, with Greece and Romania the only other two countries able to reduce consumption by more than 20%.
The EU is aiming to reduce consumption of energy in member states by 20% by 2020 through improved energy efficiency.
The majority of EU members, however, are still far from reaching this target, with two countries of the 26 European Union countries even increasing their energy consumption.