The assassination of investigative journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak over the past two years shocked Europe, but in the European Parliament, shock has given way to a grim determination to do our utmost to prevent such horrific crimes from ever happening again. Europeans expect authorities to act, to ensure that journalists across Europe are protected, and that the rule of law is safeguarded in all the Union’s Member States.
The Resolution adopted today on the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia is another Resolution by the European Parliament to continue putting pressure on the authorities of both countries to implement much-required changes. Roberta Metsola MEP, who formed part of the Working Group that visited Malta and Slovakia prior to drafting the Resolution, said that the recommendations in the Resolution are all based on European values. “Europeans are defined according to their values: the rule of law, the fight against corruption and the protection of journalists are all European values which we should be proud of. This is what today’s Resolution is all about: making sure that all EU Member States protect our values”, said Metsola.
“From our visits to Malta and Slovakia, it is clear that important changes are needed, and they should be adopted quickly”, she continued. Examples of such changes pushed forward by MEPs include that the Maltese Government implements all the recommendations of the Venice Commission, such as ending the sales of passports scheme. These should be accompanied by a full, immediate public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. In Malta, the masterminds behind the murder of the journalist are still at large, and the European Parliament wants all resources put into identifying and bringing the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.
Slovakia’s Head of Delegation in the EPP Group Ivan Štefanec MEP spoke about the situation in Slovakia. “We welcome the latest updates on the arraignment of the suspected mastermind behind the murders of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. But authorities shouldn’t stop. We want to know the outcome of what Kuciak was working on, because his murder shouldn’t mean that his stories are not investigated. That is what the masterminds behind his murder want, and we want to make sure that this does not happen”, he said. This is indeed one of the recommendations put forward by the Resolution, as well as that transparent and objective rules and procedure for the selection of the new Slovak Police President are swiftly adopted. This should ensure independence and neutrality at the office.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States