PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
‘L-Istat tan-Nazzjon’ (State of the Nation) national survey and conference launched in collaboration with the Office of the President
President of Malta George Vella presided over a press conference announcing a scientific survey and national conference, under the theme ‘L-Istat tan-Nazzjon’ (State of the Nation), which will analyse how the Maltese national identity is evolving. This initiative, which will be held regularly, is being taken by strategic communications consultant Lou Bondì and university statistician and lecturer Vincent Marmarà, in collaboration with the Office of the President.
“Rather than ‘who we are’, we will be discussing ‘who we have become’, as we are an evolving and changing society,” said the President, noting that the themes and topics which will be raised with the public in the survey and then discussed on the day of the conference to be held at the Verdala Palace on 4th June 2021 reflect greatly and are very similar to those that emerged from the conference for National Unity organised on 27th February 2021. “I believe that this survey is not only opportune but further strengthens in a scientific and concrete way the discussion related to national unity, which so far has been one that only gathered thoughts and ideas… this conference in June will be an occasion where I will continue consolidating my intention to have an inclusive and respectful discussion, that continues to grow and mature, about what the people of Malta are going through, what is causing division, and what can continue to unite us… My appeal, as always, is to respect opinions, which will not always concur, but it is important that these are all heard.”
While thanking in advance all those who are already involved, or will be involved in this initiative, the President urged the public to cooperate in the gathering of information during the survey. He also said that there is nothing wrong if such discussions are also held at the local level in different parts of our country. “This is all part of my vision for this year, which I would like to dedicate to this goal. I am taking these steps so that the presidency creates awareness of historical moments in the shaping of our country, our achievements and, above all, knowledge and appreciation of where we are today,” said the President. “While we continue to be critical of all that is wrong around us, we must cherish all the positive that we have gained wisely and carefully over time.”
Dr Marmarà explained that the survey will be conducted by telephone with no less than a thousand people from among the entire population of Maltese citizens. The goal is to gain a better understanding of who we are as a nation and what we believe in, what defines us, and what shapes our principles. The sample will be selected to reflect the country’s demographics so that before discussing the ‘state of the nation’, the speakers and experts will have a picture of who the nation is and what defines it. In this way, the people will have their voices heard before the discussion.
Mr Bondì announced that the national conference on 4th June, which will be presided by the President of Malta, will be composed of 29 speakers – split into different panel discussions – and six moderators from all walks of life. Among those who have already confirmed their participation are the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Archbishop. “This conference will take place at the right time,” said Mr Bondì. “Apart from being held, hopefully, at the beginning of the end of the pandemic, fundamental and revolutionary changes are taking place on different levels in our country and around us; changes that are giving birth to realities that we have yet to understand what they mean… All of this is leading to a sense of who we are that is no longer as before.”
The schedule of the Conference can be downloaded here