Investigative journalists are of crucial value to society as they reveal bad administration, fraud, corruption and other types of mismanagement of taxpayers’ money.

Following the brutal murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, the EP fact-finding mission to Slovakia revealed the seriousness of the situation.

“I have witnessed the deep frustration of citizens and the lack of trust in government institutions and law enforcements bodies,” says Inge Grässle MEP, Chair of the Budgetary Control Committee.

“During our intensive meetings with the President and key ministers, we came to the conclusion that a full and independent investigation is crucial for regaining the confidence of the people of Slovakia.”

“In order to speed up the investigation, we have called for an international investigative team to be set up, with the support of Europol, to look into possible links to organised crime.”

“As there have been several cases of serious intimidation of journalists, the murder is just the tip of the iceberg. The protection of freedom of expression and an independent media is of the utmost importance for a well-functioning society. During our exchange of views with NGOs and media representatives, we were confronted with general allegations that EU money 'is stolen' or seen as a gift. This is very alarming and must be investigated thoroughly.”

“We need to make sure that there are proper implementation procedures for EU-funded projects. They must not be regarded as a political reward.”

“We will closely monitor the next steps of the investigation and ensure that all bodies concerned, including OLAF, will contribute their all to revealing the full truth.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States

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