The Malta Independent 20 June 2018, Wednesday

Metsola urges European Union to protect Maltese, other media

Friday, 12 January 2018, 14:48 Last update: about 6 months ago

Member of the European Parliament for Malta Roberta Metsola has spoken up in the European Parliament in favour of press freedom and reiterated the PN delegation call for European legislation to protect Maltese and other EU media houses.

Addressing the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, where she is the EPP Group Coordinator, Metsola said, "Without an unshackled media, we would only have the illusion of a proper democracy, a mockery of how the rule of law should function".

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Her comments come as the European Parliament report on the deterioration of the rule of law in Malta is published. Apart from calling for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi to be brought to justice, the report also states that media pluralism and independence is crucial in Malta for the rule of law to be guaranteed.

Commenting on the rule of law report, Metsola said that “it is sad and shameful that Joseph Muscat has brought all this on us all,” underlining that that “we will keep fighting to show that the actions of the corrupt few do not characterise the people of Malta and Gozo, and we will keep pushing to strengthen the rule of law."

The European Parliament is currently debating a report on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union. Metsola noted the threats and the harassment that members of the press face on a daily basis, calling this "unacceptable". She stressed the importance of European Anti-SLAPP legislation that will protect media houses from intimidation by lawsuits overseas designed to intimidate.

"Media freedom is a cornerstone of our European societies. More than a fundamental right, we must see it as a fundamental rule of the way we are governed and a pillar of the rule of law," said Metsola.

Dr Metsola added, "It is the press that keeps us politicians in check, who continue to seek the truth even when lies are easier digested." Dr Metsola went on to pay tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia who was assassinated in October last year, emphasising her courage determination to find the truth. 

The report on media pluralism and media freedom will be voted upon in the coming months.

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