Malta resolution: in rare move, socialists join all groups for rule of law motion

In rare move, all European parliamentary groups, even S&D, sign Malta resolution on rule of law and Caruana Galizia investigation

The resolution on the rule of law in Malta and the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has the support of all parliamentary groups
The resolution on the rule of law in Malta and the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has the support of all parliamentary groups

In a rare move, every single European parliamentary grouping, even individual unattached MEPs, have signed a controversial resolution on the rule of law in Malta and the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The resolution will be voted upon in plenary session next week.

The news will not be well-received by Malta’s Labour MEPs, who have fought tooth and nail against the resolution from the get-go.

The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee is currently hammering out the resolution’s final text, but the fact that all of Parliament’s group’s have signed on is practically unprecedented, according to sources familiar with the ongoing drafting process.

This unanimity and in particular the inclusion of the Socialist and Democrats as co-signatories could severely hamper Malta’s Labour MEPs from garnering much-needed support from their peers in next week’s plenary vote on the contentious resolution, which has seen particular criticism from Labour MEPs Cyrus Engerer and Alex Agius Saliba.

The development also appears to put into question the narrative that the resolution is purely partisan in nature, and that it is being pushed through the EP solely by Malta’s Nationalist Party MEPs, who form party of Parliament’s largest grouping, the European People’s Party.

The resolution, however, appears to have found a wider audience.

Passport Papers scandal likely to be included

Concentrating on the state of the rule of law in Malta and the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the resolution will most likely also include an amendment concerning the Passport Papers scandal that broke this week.

MEPs, in their droves, have been particularly forceful critics of Malta’s passports-for-cash programme, and had, at the programme’s inception, famously voted down Malta’s legislation in landslide numbers, only to have been overruled by the Commission on the matter.

In the eyes of some MEPs, the timing of the resolution and the release of the Passport Papers could present something of a perfect payback storm.

While there are still some amendments to be presented, such as that covering the Passport Papers, the text being hammered out has been described as “balanced”.

The Malta resolution, which is to debated and voted upon by the European Parliament’s plenary session later this month, had become a major bone of contention between Labour and Nationalist MEPs, and the continuous war of words continued today with Agius Saliba having launched a broadside against PN MEPs and even the EP itself.

One appointed representative from each of the LIBE Committee’s political groupings met over the last four days to thrash out the resolution’s text, the final version of which will be presented to and voted upon during next week’s next plenary session.

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola is Malta’s only member of the LIBE committee, with Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer serving as a substitute.  Metsola, however, did not be participate in the penning of the resolution, which had been left to EPP MEP Vladimír Bilčík.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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