Karmenu Vella appointed Commissioner Designate of the European Commission


Karmenu Vella is the Commissioner Designate from Malta who has been assigned the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries portfolio by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker. Mr Vella was born on 19th of June 1950 in Zurrieq and is the eldest of three children. Vella lived in Zurrieq for 33 years from 1950 till 1983. He now lives in Birzebbugia with his wife Marianne née’ Buhagiar. The couple have two sons, John married to Miriam Dalli (MEP-PES), and Philip married to Rania née’ Mamo. He is also a grandfather of two, Adam and Jack.

He graduated in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Malta and later he obtained his Master of Science in Tourism Management from Sheffield Hallam University

An architect by profession, Mr Vella also served in managerial positions in the tourism industry.  However he entered politics from a young age and in 1976 he contested the general elections for the first time and was successfully elected to Parliament on the ticket of the Malta Labour Party. He continued to be elected in the elections that followed for nine consecutive times. In 1981 he was appointed Minister for Public works; in 1984 he was appointed Minister for Industry. He was then appointed Minister for Tourism from 1996 till 1998, and again served as Minister for Tourism between March 2013 and March 2014. He is one of the longest serving Maltese Parliamentarian with the Malta Labour Party.  

Mr Vella’s portfolio in the Commission of President-elect Juncker is one of several that have been reshaped and streamlined. Significantly, the Environment and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries portfolios have been combined (under Mr Vella) to reflect the twin logic of "Blue" and "Green" Growth – environment and maritime conservation policies can and should play a key role in creating jobs, preserving resources, stimulating growth and encouraging investment. Protecting the environment and maintaining our competitiveness have to go hand-in-hand, both are about a sustainable future. 

The team leader under which Karmenu Vella portfolio falls is Alenka Bratušek, Vice-President for Energy Union. 

This is the letter sent by Mr Juncker to Mr Vella to inform him about his portfolio:http://ec.europa.eu/about/juncker-commission/docs/vella_en.pdfpdf 

Karmenu Vella is the fourth nominee for the European Commission from Malta since its accession to the EU in 2004. He follows Joe Borg, John Dalli and Tonio Borg.