Malta and Slovakia: serious shortcomings in the rule of law

Malta 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs have serious concerns over the fight against corruption and organised crime, impartiality of law enforcement and judicial independence in Malta and Slovakia.

The Civil Liberties Committee adopted on Tuesday a draft resolution summarising the conclusions of the working group set up within the Civil Liberties Committee to monitor the situation of rule of law in the EU, particularly in Malta and Slovakia, following the murders of journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.

MEPs condemn the “continuous efforts of a growing number of EU member states’ governments to weaken the rule of law, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary”. They underline that the assassinations of Ms Caruana Galizia in Malta and of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová in Slovakia, and the murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria, had “a chilling effect on journalists” across the EU.

Malta

MEPs urge the Maltese government to set up a full and independent enquiry into the murder of Ms Caruana Galizia and demand that all libel cases brought by members of the government against her and her family be withdrawn.

They denounce that the Prime Minister´s chief of staff and the current Minister of Tourism are “the only acting high-ranking government officials in any EU member state who were found to be beneficial owners of a legal entity revealed in the Panama Papers”. They insist that all suspected government links with opaque structures, such as Egrant and the “17 Black” company, deserve to be investigated.

The text points to the many shortcomings in the rule of law in the country identified by the Venice Commission and urges the Maltese government and Parliament to implement all of the Commission’s recommendations without exception.

Regarding the investor citizenship and residence schemes -which allow foreigners to gain residence or citizenship rights in Malta in exchange for a large investment-, MEPs want them terminated without delay, as these programmes pose “serious risks” to the fight against money laundering and “result in the actual sale of EU citizenship”.

Slovakia

MEPs acknowledge the progress made in the investigation into the murder of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová, but insist it should continue both at national and international level. They also demand in-depth investigations into all the alleged cases of corruption and fraud brought up during their inquiries in the country.

The resolution voices concern about the allegations of corruption, conflicts of interest, impunity and revolving doors in Slovakia’s circles of power. It also warns against the politicisation and lack of transparency in selection and appointment processes, such as for the position of Head of the Police.

Quote

Sophie in ‘t Veld (ALDE, NL) Chair of the Rule of Law Monitoring Group, said: “These findings are very worrying. Journalists too often face threats to their safety in the EU. The situation in Malta is particularly worrying. There is an ongoing hate campaign against the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The truth about her murder risks being swept under the carpet, while the rule of law is undermined. The sale of EU citizenship cannot continue. The government also has to step up its fight against corruption and money laundering.”

Next steps

The draft resolution was passed by the Civil Liberties Committee with 40 to 7 and 6 abstentions. It will be put to the vote by the full House in the March II plenary session (25-28 March) in Strasbourg.

Background

Following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee and the Special committee on the Panama Papers travelled to Malta on 30 November-1 December 2017. Civil Liberties and Budgetary Control MEPs also visited Slovakia in March 2018, in the wake of the assassination of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová.

The rule of law monitoring group headed by Ms Sophie in ‘t Veld (ALDE, NL) made a follow-up visit to both countries in November 2018.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

Day of the Seafarer: Commissioner Vălean supports the rights of seafarers and their vital role

Multilateralism must weather ‘challenges of today and tomorrow’ Guterres tells Paris Peace Forum

SMEs are the most valuable partners. Here’s why

COVID-19: lessons from Italy on public-private healthcare procurement

International Women’s Day 2019: women’s power in politics

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

Strengthening security through an EU-wide information system

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

The US may be “open” to reviving TTIP, while the EU designs the future of trade with China

Further reforms will promote a stronger and more inclusive Hungarian economy

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

How to keep essential value chains moving during the COVID-19 crisis

These countries are leading the way in green finance

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

Macron leads EU-wide minimum wage call as Merkel, Medvedev warn of global injustice

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Palestine refugees’ relief chief warns Security Council money to fund Gaza operations will run out in mid-June

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

‘Do everything in your power to tackle climate change’ UN chief urges on Mother Earth Day

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

MEPs back plans to boost joint assessment of medicines

Deep science: what it is, and how it will shape our future

2019: A deadly year for migrants crossing the Americas

18th European Forum on Eco-innovation live from Barcelona: What’s next for eco-labelling?

This Chinese megacity is building a massive car-free district

UN experts voice ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s ‘consistent pattern’ of denying life-saving medical treatment to detainees

EU and UK soon to be in a post-Brexit rush over free trade agreement with Australia

China in my eyes

Sudan: ‘Violence must stop’, says UNICEF chief, ‘gravely concerned’ over 19 child deaths since military backlash

The eight types of AI you should know about

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

What Mary Poppins teaches us about behavioural economics

This year’s Earth Hour is going digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

FROM THE FIELD: Photos highlight agony of West African civil wars

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’

Haitian President at General Assembly calls for essential development aid as UN mission shifts away from peacekeeping

How Cameron unwillingly helped Eurozone reunite; the long-term repercussions of two European Council decisions

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

Ebola situation worsening in DR Congo, amidst growing ‘funding gap’ UN health agency warns

What we’ve learned about mental health from young people

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

This is how we can help Australia organize the world’s generosity

COVID-19: Commission steps up research funding and selects 17 projects in vaccine development, treatment and diagnostics

Transport Committee pledges to stop empty flights due to COVID-19

Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019, in association with The European Sting

UN chief calls for ‘a fair globalization’ with first-ever Global Goals Summit

3 reasons why data is not the new oil – and why this matters to India

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

These forms of exercise are best for your mental health

4 ways to build businesses that work for good, right now

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s