MEPs approve rule of law resolution targeting Malta and Slovakia

European Parliament approves rule of law resolution with 398 votes in favour and 85 against • Calls on Malta to initiate a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder

A poster critical of the rule of law in Malta: the European Parliament has voted in favour of a damning resolution targeting Malta and Slovakia
A poster critical of the rule of law in Malta: the European Parliament has voted in favour of a damning resolution targeting Malta and Slovakia

MEPs have voted in favour of a resolution calling on the Maltese government to beef up the rule of law and ensure better protection for journalists.

The resolution passed with 398 votes in favour and 85 against. The three Nationalist Party MEPs voted in favour, while the Labour Party MEPs voted against.

A majority of socialist MEPs also voted in favour of the resolution. The debate was held last Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Major disagreements between MEPs during debate on rule of law in Malta

The resolution makes several recommendations, which include a call for a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and the full publication of the Egrant inquiry.

The resolution targeted Malta and Slovakia and was drawn up after a rule of law mission from the European Parliament visited the two countries last year.

The mission to Malta came in the wake of Caruana Galizia’s murder and allegations that people in government were involved in money laundering. Slovakia was in the spotlight because of the assassination of journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend.

PN MEP Roberta Metsola, who formed part of the rule of law mission, said the resolution “protected Maltese and European values”.

Her colleague David Casa insisted the PN delegation wanted to defend Maltese citizens. “We would be failing in our work if we close our eyes while the country’s institutions are captured politically to protect corrupt politicians at the people’s expense,” Casa said.

Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi said Malta was being “politically and unjustly  harassed”, deploring Metsola for co-authoring the resolution.

“The partisan politics behind this resolution are very apparent. It is a resolution based on lack of integrity of facts and misinformation. Malta is the only member state to face four resolutions against it under this legislature. Neither Poland nor Hungary – both of which have been found in contempt of Article 2 of the Treaty – have had to face as many resolutions. These are double standards which should never be exercised by the EP,” Mizzi insisted.

The resolution calls on the Maltese government to:

  • Set up a public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder
  • Ensure that the masterminds behind the murder are identified
  • Fully implement the recommendations made by the Venice Commission
  • End the hate campaign against Caruana Galizia’s family
  • Publish the full Egrant inquiry by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja
  • Initiate an investigation into Panama Papers and the link between 17 Black, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi
  • Stop the sale of Maltese passports

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