European Parliament Condemns Weakening Rule of Law in Some EU States

The European Parliament passed on Thursday a resolution that condemned deteriorating rule of law in a number of EU countries, including Malta and Slovakia that witnessed murders of journalists, the body said in a statement.

“Parliament passed on Thursday, with 398 votes to 85 and 69 abstentions, a resolution summarizing 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 Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova … The House condemns the ‘continuous efforts of a growing number of EU member state governments to weaken the rule of law, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary,’” the statement said.

The European Parliament’s resolution pointed out that a strong democracy based on the rule of law cannot work without strong and independent media.

The lawmakers called on Malta to initiate an investigation into the murder of Galizia and cases of corruption, which were studied by the killed journalist.

“MEPs call on the EU institutions and the member states to initiate an independent international public inquiry into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the alleged cases of corruption, financial crimes, money laundering, fraud and tax evasion reported by her, which involve Maltese high-ranking current and former public officials,” the statement stressed.

The parliament’s members have also welcomed progress in the investigation into the murder of Kuciak and Kusnirova in Slovakia.

“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 over the politicization and lack of transparency in selection and appointment processes, such as for the position of Chief of Police,” the statement added.

Galizia alleged that Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife were involved with a company mentioned in Panama dossier focused on offshore accounts. The journalist was killed in a car explosion in October 2017.

Kuciak and his fiancee were shot dead in their home in the Slovak village of Velka Maca in February 2018. The killing led to anti-government protests and a political crisis, prompting Prime Minister Robert Fico to step down and provoking a government reshuffle.