Malta
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Maltese diplomat questions neutrality in ‘objectively dangerous’ world

Seasoned diplomat Carmelo Inguanez has questioned Malta’s status as a neutral state in the wake of the “existential question” that Europe and the European Union are facing during what he described as an objectively dangerous situation on the international stage. 

Inguanez, the Ambassador of Malta to France was to make his speech during the Victory Day ceremony scheduled for 6th September but was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Inguanez, while underscoring the importance of neutrality, highlighted that it has made sense for Malta. However, the diplomat candidly acknowledged that the landscape of international relations is changing, presenting new challenges to the concept of neutrality. While Malta’s neutrality made sense in the context of disputes between other nations, it might be less effective when Malta itself is embroiled in conflicts or threats. This, he said, raises a critical question about the practicality and effectiveness of neutrality in today’s world.

Inguanez further questioned whether the concept of neutrality could become superfluous if Malta is bound by majority decisions in the European Union. Inguanez asks, “What value do we have as a neutral state if the decisions in the European Union will be taken by majority voting?”

The diplomat states that despite this, there is a small chance that a compromise could be reached within the EU to maintain the “spirit of solidarity” with regard to the decisions taken by the bloc. “But even if this were to happen, the fact remains that the probability is that the countries constitutionally bound to neutrality will be in an awkward position as to how to reconcile the aspects of European common foreign and security policy with their constitutional provisions,” Inguanez says.

Inguanez turned his attention to Malta and underlined the importance of facing and overcoming her own internal challenges.

One key aspect of the diplomat’s message is the need for responsible economic planning. He calls for caution in not “overheating” essential sectors of the economy, a vital reminder in an era of rapid development. This call, he notes resonates with the idea that unchecked growth can lead to long-term consequences that burden the youth with complex challenges.

Inguanez encouraged mutual respect among Maltese citizens, irrespective of their backgrounds, as he advocated for more civil discourse, urging people to be less “rude” in their interactions.

The Ambassador noted that despite everything, Malta still has plenty of potential, as he appealed to the young generation to recognize the “whole lot of grey in between” the black and white of the world. Inguanez also called for the younger generations to embrace their country by loving it as well as its language.

“My hope is in this young generation, that they see the world as being a part of them, as their friend. And that they want Malta to be loved by the world and for Malta to love the world,” Inguanez concluded.