Labour MEP says rule of law debate will throw bad light on Malta

MEPs from Civil Liberties Committee to debate a resolution on rule of law in Malta 

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli

Members of the European Parliament on Monday evening will debate a resolution on rule of law in Malta, to be held in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee, by the Rule Of Law Monitoring Group, set up following the murders of Caruana Galizia in Malta, and Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in Slovakia.

Two votes would then take place in the weeks to come, one in committee and the other in plenary. The resolution follows a report compiled by the same members of the ROLMG following their visits to Malta and Slovakia.

Bu Maltese Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said that some MEPs forming part of the ROLMG had “allowed their partisan political agenda to cloud their judgement”.

Dalli said that whilst utilising the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the motion to be debated makes no reference to the fact that the Maltese Constitution was set up in 1964 and that no changes had been carried out by previous Nationalist administrations, despite having been in government for 25 years.

“Worse still is that the resolution insists that the European Commission enters into dialogue with Malta in the context of the Rule of Law Framework even though the Venice Commission never indicates a systematic breach of rule of law. It is unfortunate that there are Members who have made it amply clear what their fixed perception of Malta is, and anything that is said is used to fan that perception,” the MEP said.

“It is unacceptable that there are those who want to subject Malta to rule of law talks at all costs, when it was this government that reformed laws which previous administrations had no interest in changing,” Miriam Dalli said.

The Maltese MEP said that the Maltese government had always showed openness to dialogue and never shied away from kicking off reforms in full public consultation. She pointed to media reform – a reform that journalists had long been calling for, as one example.

Another example was the government’s invitation to the Venice Commission and the report that was presented in this regard.

“Malta now has a constitutional reform committee chaired by the President of the Republic to update the Constitution. But those recommendations by the Venice Commission cannot be spun and used as a sort of basis for some claims that are included in a draft resolution that is to be presented on Monday,” Dalli said.

On Monday, a public hearing will also take place on “Alleged financial crime, tax evasion and tax avoidance in Malta”.

The first part of the hearing of the Special Committee TAX3 of the European Parliament will be an exchange of views with the Maltese Minister of Justice, Owen Bonnici. The second part will feature Matthew Caruana Galizia, son of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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