Civil Liberties MEPs said they are concerned by corruption, conflicts of interest and impunity in Slovakia’s ruling circles and call for EU rule of law standards to be upheld.
Following a two-day visit to Slovakia, Sophie in ‘t Veld, who heads the European Parliament delegation, said they were glad to see that the investigation into the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée “seems to be advancing”.
“Justice needs to be served, first for the families of the victims, but also to guarantee the safety of all journalists and for the sake of democracy,” she said.
The MEPs are now in Malta for a two-day visit – also to investigate corruption and rule of law.
The Dutch MEP said that many Slovaks were very committed to creating a modern, transparent and trusted public administration. “But we still see corruption, too many conflicts of interest and impunity”.
They also found “particularly worrying the revolving doors” used by politicians use to remain in power. “We have the same people, the same faces, coming up again and again,” she said.
Veld also called for the reinforcement of Europol and said Europe should not become a gangster paradise. Crime has no borders but law enforcement was constrained by national boundaries.
In Slovakia, MEPs met President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Pellegrini and the ministers of justice, Gábor Gál, and the interior Denisa Sakova. They also spoke to special prosecutors, the national police chief and representatives of other law enforcement bodies, journalists and editors, NGOs active in the fields of transparency and fighting corruption, and Ján Kuciak’s family lawyer.
During their visit in Malta, they plan to meet Attorney General, Chief of Justice, police authorities and the heads of the Malta Financial Services Authority and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. They will also exchange views with journalists and discuss the situation with NGOs involved in the field of rule of law and fight against corruption.
They will also meet representatives of the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia. No Maltese ministers have confirmed meetings with MEPs.