The Malta Independent 21 April 2019, Sunday

Resolution on rule of law another attempt to put Malta in bad light – MEP Miriam Dalli

Saturday, 9 February 2019, 14:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

Some of the MEPs who form part of the Rule of Law Monitoring Group (ROLMG) have allowed their partisan political agenda to cloud their judgement, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said.

While utilising the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the motion makes no reference to the fact that the Maltese Constitution was set up in 1964 and that no changes had been carried out by previous administrations, despite having been in government for 25 years.

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Worse still is that the resolution insists that the European Commission enters into dialogue with Malta in the context of the Rule of Law Framework even though the Venice Commission never indicates a systematic breach of rule of law.

“It is unfortunate that there are members who have made it amply clear what their fixed perception of Malta is, and anything that is said is used to fan that perception,” Dalli said.

On Monday, the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee is expected to debate a draft resolution by the ROLMG. Two votes would then take place in the weeks to come, one in committee and the other in plenary. The resolution follows a report compiled by the same members of the ROLMG following their visits to Malta and Slovakia. The ROLMG was set up following the murders of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, and Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in Slovakia.

“It is unacceptable that there are those who want to subject Malta to rule of law talks at all costs, when it was this government that reformed laws which previous administrations had no interest in changing,” Dalli said.

The Maltese MEP said that the Maltese government had always showed openness to dialogue and never shied away from kicking off reforms in full public consultation. One such clear example was the media reform - a reform that journalists had long been calling for. Another example was the government’s invitation to the Venice Commission and the report that was presented in this regard.

“Malta now has a constitutional reform committee chaired by the President of the Republic to update the Constitution. But those recommendations by the Venice Commission cannot be spun and used as a sort of basis for some claims that are included in a draft resolution that is to be presented on Monday,” Dalli argued.

 

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