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European civil liberties NGOs brand Labour Party ‘anti-EU’ ahead of elections

joseph muscat

A Europe-wide campaign being waged by human rights organisations prior to the European Parliament elections is calling on European voters to avoid political parties labelled as “anti-EU values,” that included the Malta Labour Party in its list.

The #Vote4Values campaign has launched a tracker listing those Parties putting forward candidates who are deemed not to represent European values such as a free press, freely operating rights and democracy groups and independent courts.

Alongside the ‘bad boys’ or pariahs of Europe such as Hungary’s Fidesz, Poland’s PiS (Law and Justice) party, Romania’s Partidul Social Democrat, and Slovakia’s SMER Party, the #Vote4Values tracker includes Malta’s Labour Party or Partit Laburista.

“When we refer to anti-values parties or political groups, we’re talking about parties that have an agenda to or a practice of undermining the basic values of the rule of law, pluralistic democracy and/or fundamental rights” the Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) said.

The network is stressing the importance of the rule of law for the protection of human rights and civil liberties. “The rule of law refers to a situation where national courts are independent and free from the influence or control of politicians, where courts have the power to effectively and quickly protect civil liberties, and where politicians and public authorities are not rife with corruption.”

Liberties Labour Party

Source: #Vote4Values

Under Muscat’s leadership, Malta has seen a steady downward slide on internationally renowned indices on democracy, press freedom, and corruption, all essential elements of the rule of law.

These concerns were reinforced by the Venice Commission’s findings and reached fever pitch in Europe as the Parliament discussed Article 7 proceedings against Malta for rule of law failings by the government.

The civil liberties network pointed out that, when joining the EU, all Member States committed to the common values that all European countries share and the values on which the EU is founded, in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.

Liberties is a European network of national civil liberties NGOs from across the EU. Headquartered in Berlin, the network’s goal is the protection of civil liberties, so citizens can participate freely in the democratic process in which governments respect the rule of law.

The civil liberties network is also advocating an ousting of the “anti-value” Parties from traditional groupings including the Labour Party’s expulsion from S&D (European Socialists) in order to avoid “anti-value” parties undermining European values.

The organisation says the upcoming European elections are critical. “As populist authoritarians continue to gain ground and limit fundamental rights, it’s crucial that people make their voices heard and vote”.

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