Sant sticks to sceptic line on MEPs, does not vote on Romania rule of law motion

‘MEPs’ methods with Malta were crassly biased’ says Labour MEP

Labour MEP Alfred Sant
Labour MEP Alfred Sant

Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant has reiterated his line of thinking after refusing to vote on a censure motion against Romania, expressing concerns over judicial reforms and corruption in the EU member state.

He already abstained in a similar vote against Hungary for undermining the European Union’s core values, drawing parallels with the Maltese experience of the last year.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the rule of law in Romania with 473 votes in favor, 151 against and 40 abstentions. It said it is “deeply concerned” about the reform of the country’s judicial and criminal laws, “which risks undermining separation of powers and the fight against corruption.”

“The procedures adopted in the European Parliament to consider and pass judgement on governmental decision making in EU Member States are not objective, transparent or fair,” Sant said, explaining his abstention.

Sant’s vote carries the previous stance he took on the assessment of potential breaches of the rule of law in the EU.

“Questions regarding respect for the rule of law in member states constitute a crucial issue which needs to be tackled in a transparent and fully clinical – not to say objective – manner. I say so from personal knowledge of how such procedures are being applied in the case of my country, Malta, where the methods adopted by Members of this Parliament to examine governance issues, are crassly biased.

“This has happened to the extent that when so-called NGOs are consulted about the situation in the country, they are chosen in a partisan and one-sided way. If such approaches are adopted with regard to a given country, it cannot be excluded that they are also followed in other instances.”

Sant said the politicised manner by which the European Parliament investigates governance issues nullify the credibility and legitimacy of such investigations. “I do not want my vote to give the impression that this fundamental flaw is non-problematic.”

The resolution was adopted with 473 in favour, 151 against, 40 abstentions.

Now read Alfred Sant does not vote on Hungary censure: ‘MEPs’ methods with Malta were crassly biased’

More in Europe