The Justice and Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) adopted a draft resolution today criticising the inadequate action to guarantee the safety of journalists in the EU, in particular in Malta and Slovakia. The resolution also calls on Member States to step up their efforts in the fight against corruption, money laundering and fraud. Recommendations addressed to the Maltese government are particularly far-reaching.
In the case of Malta, the Rule of Law Monitoring Group (ROLMG)'s report found an alarming level of state-wide corruption and the poor functioning of police and justice services. MEPs also urged the country to immediately stop the sale of Maltese citizenship via dubious investment schemes providing a legal loophole to visas and citizenship in the EU.
The resolution was drawn up by members of the ROLMG, set up after the murders of Slovak and Maltese investigative journalists Jan Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia. Both journalists exposed uncomfortable truths about corruption and fraud in the highest political circles. Members of the monitoring group have made several visits to both countries to talk with NGOs and government officials, and they have had inputs from Europol.
Sophie in 't Veld MEP and Chair of the Rule of Law Monitoring Group commented:
"The situation in Malta is worse than I could have imagined. 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 constantly undermined."
There will be a further debate and vote on the resolution during the plenary session of the European Parliament in March (25-28).