No matter where there is a breach of the law and no matter who is in government, people must be able to trust in democracy and rule of law, say S&Ds

S&D MEPs today voted in favour of a resolution on the rule of law in Malta which came following recent developments around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and after a recent delegation of MEPs from the justice and home affairs committee to Malta.

Claude Moraes, vice-president of the S&D Group, said:

“Today’s vote comes after a delegation of MEPs was sent to Malta in early December on a fact-finding mission to look at the situation of the rule of law.  After meetings with the Maltese authorities and Europol, the fact is that there have been breakthroughs in the investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. But independent investigations are ongoing and we need to let the Maltese authorities continue the work so that the truth can come out and those responsible can be brought to justice.

“When it comes to upholding the rule of law across the EU, the fact is that the EU lacks any effective tool to deal with rule of law concerns in an independent and even-handed manner in all EU Member States. With several cases in different Member States where democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights have been abused, a permanent EU-wide mechanism is needed now more than ever.”

Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson for the LIBE committee, said: 

“The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia has been shocking for all of us. It is beyond doubt that all perpetrators and accomplices must be held accountable. Therefore, it is imperative that investigations continue with the support of Europol and that the case is brought to a proper conclusion. Furthermore, there is no way around getting on with the judicial and constitutional reforms in Malta, with the support of the Venice Commission and in close dialogue with the European Commission, and we welcome the steps taken by both the Maltese government and the parliament. Things are moving in the right direction, but there is still some way to go.

“Today’s vote also shows that the calls we have long been making on the Commission for a strong, comprehensive and permanent EU mechanism on the Rule of Law, which looks at the situation in all EU countries and monitors developments with independent expertise, is more essential than ever. We hope that the new Commission finally hears our call and puts forward legislation.

“Wherever there is a breach of the Law, and whoever is in government we share a common responsibility to ensure people have trust and faith in democracy and rule of law once again.”