The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

Failed institutions: Malta needs a strong civil society – Francis Zammit Dimech

Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 11:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

In a democratic country, there is the need of a strong civil society, as this has an important role to scrutinise government and authorities especially when institutions that supposedly work independently are taken over by the government and fail to safeguard rights of citizens, MEP Francis Zammit Dimech said.

Speaking during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on measures to support civil society organisations, Zammit Dimech noted that in the past days in Malta, activists had worked to safeguard outside development zones from being taken over for development.

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He added that other activists had worked for justice to be served and for truth to be exposed following the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. “In both cases there was something in common: authorities tried to stop civil society organisations from spreading their symbolic message”, added Zammit Dimech.

Zammit Dimech explained that these two examples show that measures are needed to support civil society organisations in all ways including providing financial support in order to sustain their work. He added that “we need a strong civil society to safeguard fundamental European values: liberty, democracy, rule of law and justice among others and to fight corruption, nepotism and maladministration”.

Francis Zammit Dimech emphasised that civil society was also the voice of the people including those that had no voice for some reason or another including due to a threat on their freedom of expression and association. He concluded by thanking all those active in civil society organisations for the work they are conducting in the interest of Malta.

 

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