During this afternoon’s plenary debate on developments in Malta under the current government, the EPP Group will request the immediate launch of a rule-of-law dialogue with Maltese authorities to investigate the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia and call for the prosecution of money-laundering crimes in this Member State.

Esteban González Pons, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group, explains: “It is unacceptable that the assassination of a journalist was needed to open the eyes of the EU and for questioning to start on what is going on in Malta: the harassment of journalists, the blackmailing of independent media by banks connected with money laundering, the involvement of government officials in tax evasion. All this is happening in Malta and police authorities appointed by the government remain silent. However, the EU cannot be silent anymore. We have to say loud and clear that, in Europe, values and principles are more important than money. We have to tell Maltese citizens that Daphne Caruana Galizia's fight was not in vain. Daphne’s moral legacy belongs to Europe now. A Europe of democracy, justice, the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

The call for an independent international investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and for a dialogue with the Maltese government regarding the functioning of the rule of law in Malta have also been voiced in a resolution initiated by the EPP Group.

The framework that can be used by the Commission when a systemic threat to the rule of law in a Member State emerges consists of three stages: the assessment of a systemic threat to the rule of law, a recommendation to the Member State to solve the problems identified and triggering Article 7 of the Treaty on the EU, which might lead to the suspension of voting rights for the Member State in the Council.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States

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