‘I will keep my promises to Caruana Galizia family’ - Vera Jourova

Commissioner Jourova tells MEPs she will keep her promise to look closely into Caruana Galizia’s murder investigations and to protect journalists

Vera Jourova
Vera Jourova

Vera Jourova, the European Commissioner’s vice-president designate for values and transparency, said she will be keeping promises she made to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family that she would look closely into the murder investigation and that she would protect journalists.

“I met Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family, I gave a promise to her mother that I will look very closely at the investigations. I made a promise to her son to protect journalists. These are very strong commitments. I will keep them,” Jourova said during her grilling by MEPs on Monday. She was replying to questions from PN MEP Roberta Metsola.

Jourova also slammed cash-for-passport schemes piloted by Malta’s Muscat Government and underlined her commitment to examining the schemes.

“I agree it is time to ban these schemes - Governments are selling what is not wholly theirs - but EU’s laws are limited so what we can do is pass legislation to make things more transparent,” Jourova said.                     

Metsola, who is also the EPP Coordinator in the EU Commissioners' hearings, said “Daphne Caruana Galizia had investigated cash-for-passports schemes. We know there is no genuine link to Malta or to the European Union.”

“We know only too well the security gaps these expose and the corruption, electoral manipulation and money-laundering avenues they create. The monetisation of the rights enjoyed by EU citizens should not be what we are about. It is time for them to be banned,” Metsola highlighted.

Turning to the rule of law and ensuring media freedom, MEP Metsola said “You have been entrusted with a portfolio that is a fundamental pillar of the European project. The rule of law is the basis for everything that we do here and we know that if we allow it to be threatened anywhere then we risk it collapsing everywhere. This is the nature of our Union.”

MEP Metsola reiterated her call to establish a rule of law mechanism and ensuring EU Anti-SLAPP legislation, saying that journalists must be protected not only from murder in the worst cases, but from constant harassment and vexatious lawsuits.

Replying to Metsola’s questioning, Jourova committed to looking at legislation that will protect press freedom and address vexatious lawsuits in Europe.